Operation Kosovo
About Operation Kosovo

Daily Trip Report - July 10, 2003

Carson Block -
Since it looks like I lost the race to write the first trip report, I will try to cover some new ground... It's my first time in Kosovo & it exceeds my expectations. Pristina is fairly clean (which is apparently a new development), the weather is beautiful (low 80's and sunny), and you see a lot of nice Beamers, Benzes, and Audis around.

There really are a lot of young people around - you see them walking all times of the day (and night), often in groups. Tim and I had a few drinks last night at this one outdoor / indoor bar. Even though it was Wednesday, the bar was packed! Apparently, bars are like that every night here. With only a few exceptions, the people dressed fairly similarly to how you'd expect them to dress in a US bar.

People are pretty friendly and very pro-American here. They have all of these billboards up around the city celebrating our July 4 Independence Day holiday. There's also a Bill Clinton street. Apparently, his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton, is trying to establish a $30 million investment fund for Kosovo. Perhaps someday, there will be a Hillary Clinton street somewhere in Pristina too. I wonder if they would intersect...

The couple of entrepreneurs we met with today were pretty impressive - they stressed that most of their countrymen need to learn to improve their work ethics and focus on customer service. Also, it seems like a couple of promising ideas for businesses are: an accounting / audit firm, a law firm, a collection agency, and a bar where one can hold foam parties.
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Tim Grochocinski -
Met at ABA/CEELI at 9am to discuss strategy for obtaining business registration forms. Then visited municipality office where everyone was very helpful. Eventually got redirected to Ministry of Trade where once again they were very helpful and we received the forms necessary for registration.

Meeting w/ CEO Bujar Musa of IPKO to discuss current projects of IPKO as well as incubator program. Meeting went extremely well. Nicole and I cut out around 1145 to go and meet w/ Chamber of Advocates to obtain information relative to the formation of a law firm (fees, regs, etc.). However, there was confusion with regards to the time of the meeting so the woman whom we were supposed to meet with was in court. Then Nicole and I had lunch w/ Arben. After that we met at Hotel Victory and had a very good meeting with Avni Selmani, the owner. Discussed his startup, current economic issues surrounding Kosovo, possibilities for expansion, etc. Then went to Hotel Baci to discuss days events and have Machiato. Then had dinner with Dastide, Luan, Ardian, and Leke. Discussed following issues:

Database design
FOIA
NGO/Business Registration
Business Clinic
Other possible future business ventures

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Nicole Thibodeau -
Saw all the ABA/CEELI staff yesterday and we caught up. It was really good to see them, especially Jehona! They are leaving today and tomorrow for their annual meeting in Belgrade so I won't see much more of them before I leave Kosovo.

Yesterday the four of us met to discuss some meeting times. We set up a meeting with the Chamber of Advocates & Lirije Osmani.

My first impressions: It is so beautiful here in the summer. The garbage that covered the streets in January has been cleaned up so that Pristina now looks like any other slighty dirty town in America. ALso, the air pollution is almost non-existent - which is awesome. The weather is perfect, about 70 and no humidity. I'm glad I saw it in the winter first because I am better able to appreciate how beautiful it looks now!

There haven't been any power outtages. The water comes and goes.
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Janusz Bugajski, R. Bruce Hitchner & Paul Williams (CSIS April 2003) (PDF file)

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