After leaving Skopje, the Free Market Road Show® stopped in Pristina, the capital of one of the newest countries in Europe, Kosovo. The local organizing partner was the Liberal Institute for Policy Research and the event was hosted by the University of Business and Technology (UBT) in their premises.
The conference was opened by the Rector of UBT, Mr. Edmond Haziri who acknowledged the importance of the project and showed the readiness to cooperate in a similar projects in the future initiated by the Austrian Economic Center. Nonetheless, he mentioned the need for growth and development of Kosovo and this kind of initiatives are more than welcomed.
Followed by Dr. Richard Zunritsch (Board Member, Hayek Institut and Austrian Economics Center)
Who beside that he spoke on AEC mission and the FMRS project, potentiated the need for “embracement of free market ideas and entrepreneurship for better life in the region”.
The keynote speech was delivered by Jose Cordeiro (Director, The Millenium Project and Venezuela Node) who in the beginning, mentioned the interrelatedness of the business and technology, both of them very determinant for the future. After that, he focused his speech on the technological developments that will characterize the next period, which definitely attracted the attention of the audience. Some of the major advancements included the opportunity of brain to brain communication in the next 20 years and the emergence of a device with more transistors that we have neurons in our brains, reaching the technological singularity approximately in 2029. And concluded that “all of these technological developments will change dramatically the humanity”.
Adri Nurellari (Founder of the Liberal Institute for Policy Research) began his talk by briefly portraying the current situation and some positive achievements that the country has achieved so far, mainly the successful privatization of some national companies and the registered growth in the last years. Even though, he expresses his concern that the growth is mainly “as a result of the increased government spending which is unsustainable and won`t last for long time”. He sees the economic prosperity in having far better institutions, less government intervention and encourages, people especially younger generation to embrace entrepreneurship.
Then the floor was left to Henric Schneider, a chief economist of the Swiss Federation of Small and Medium Enterprises who reminded the audience that there is “no growth and freedom without a cost and risk”. People need to accept the possibility of failure but still strive for freedom and growth. Succinctly put “taking risks is difficult but it’s crucial to success”. Representing the SME sector, he outlined the importance of this sector for the economy of one country and clearly called for more activeness, competitiveness and flexibility that will eventually lead to economic growth.
According to Kate Sheehan from Free Market Institute, the “base for success lies on the free market economics”. She is convinced that economic freedom, property rights, competitiveness and entrepreneurship are the ones that will lead to economic growth. On the other hand, clearly point that the government is not really creating jobs because people are paying for that. Summarizing by noting that “entrepreneurship flourished in an area where is economic freedom which leads to innovation and new technology resulting with long term economic growth”.
In the end, Dr.Zundritsch delivered the closing remarks addressing the audience that “the future is in their hands, everything is up to them”. Hope that some of the free market and entrepreneurial spirit has arrived at them.