Nexhat Demaku, Mayor of Drenas
Nexhat Demaku, Mayor of Drenas

Drenas municipality, at the centre of Kosovo, has a population of around 73,300 and covers some 290 sq km. Nexhat Demaku, Mayor, discusses Drenas’s investment attractions.

European Times: What gives Drenas its investment appeal?
Nexhat Demaku: Drenas has a very strategic location in the centre of the country with rapid access to Kosovo’s biggest cities as well as to neighbouring Albania. Agriculture is our most developed sector and we have around 16,000 hectares of arable land. One of Kosovo’s biggest investors, Ferronikeli, chose Drenas for its agricultural enterprise. Ferronikeli actively exports its products and has 1,000 full-time employees and 400 seasonal workers here. Drenas is an ideal choice for investments in the production of fruits and vegetables as well as of meat and milk products. Only around 20% of the meat consumed in Kosovo is currently produced in the country, so meat production has excellent growth potential.

European Times: What about opportunities in the industrial sector?
Nexhat Demaku: We have established an industrial zone where investors can build production factories for all kinds of industrial and trade-oriented ventures, and 33 factories are already operating there. Drenas also has significant lignite and mineral resources and the mining sector has great promise.

European Times: Does Drenas offer any special incentives for investors?
Nexhat Demaku: In addition to our industrial zone we are building a 106-hectare economic zone which currently has two factories operating. It has rail connections and is very close to the main Prishtina-Tirana highway. This zone is already fully equipped with infrastructure, including water, electricity and roads, and we offer land there for a symbolic price on a 99-year concession basis.

European Times: What are your future plans for Drenas?
Nexhat Demaku: We have already invested €10 million in new road infrastructure and we are in the process of building new schools and water and sewerage systems. We have received major support from the EU, USAID, and other international funders. Around 70% of the villages in the municipality are now connected to modern water and sewer systems. Planned projects include a developed river bank, a new municipality building, a sewage-and-water treatment plant (budgeted at around €2 million to €3 million), and initiatives to benefit the agriculture sector.

European Times: What is your personal message to potential investors?
Nexhat Demaku: Drenas is a peaceful, business-friendly, well-located municipality with good infrastructure, low crime, qualified workers and many opportunities.