US Special Envoy for Kosovo-Serbia Dialogue, Richard Grenell has stated that his objective in facilitating Kosovo-Serbia negotiations is to bring capitalism and force the parties to get along economically and commercially.
Grenell plans to create a “little mini-Shenzhen zone” between Kosovo-Serbia, which is one of the several special economic zones (SEZ) in China that enjoy a relatively free market economy as compared to the state planned economy elsewhere in the mainland.
“What we’re trying to do is concentrate on the economic situation to create a little mini-Shenzhen zone. We think that’s a very good idea, and we think that if you could create jobs in the region, if you could bring capitalism and force the parties to get along economically and commercially, then the political issues would be the second step,” Grenell told NewsMaxTV.
While China, an independent country, has regulated specific areas as SEZ, it remains unclear what this could mean in the case of Kosovo and Serbia, at a time when the latter does not recognize the existence of the other.
A previous initiative to create an economic zone in the Balkans, led by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, the so-called Mini Schengen Area, seems to have stalled after Kosovo’s refusal to join. President Thaci said Kosovo won’t take part in it unless Serbia recognizes the country’s independence.
Grenell’s objective to bring capitalism in the region is also not clear. Kosovo, Serbia, and the whole South East Europe are capitalist societies.
The Trump envoy said he will only focus on economic issues, and would leave political issues to the Europeans.
Grenell said he had discussed with the people of Kosovo and Serbia the issues they face, and concluded that economic development, jobs and hope were the answers.
“When I started discussing these issues with the people of Kosovo and the business community in Kosovo, the people of Serbia and the business community, what was clear is that they wanted economic development, they wanted jobs for young people, they wanted hope,” he said.
He promised to work on bringing “capitalism and free market in the region”, as well as big US and European companies.
Kosovo and Serbia delegations are expected to sit in talks at the White House on June 27.