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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Stamp Investment Tip: United Nations -Kosovo 2005 Handicrafts set (Scott #31-34)

   As part of the treaty negotiations ending the 1998-99 Kosovo War, the United Nations set up an interim administration mission (UNMIK) in Kosovo. The UN has since issued stamps for this provisional governing body, and many of the UN-Kosovo sets have topical interest and were issued in small quantities. In my opinion, the better UNMIK sets make far better investments than those issued by any of the three regular UN Offices (New York, Geneva, and Vienna).

   In 2005, UNMIK issued a set of stamps picturing Native Handicrafts (Scott #31-34). 50,000 were issued, and Scott  '14  prices the unused set at $ 18.50. The set has dual appeal to collectors of United Nations and Art Topicalists.

   I continue to like the U.N. as a topic, long-term. The market for U.N.-related topicals should grow over the very long haul as institutions of world government develop in order to take on serious (and possibly existential) problems which can only be coped with globally. Despite the present inadequacy, corruption, and ineffectiveness of the U.N., I view its reform and gradual strengthening as a gradual but irresistible trend.

   Kosovo is now a quasi-independent state with about 1.7 million citizens. Before Independence, it was the poorest part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and in the 1990s its economy suffered from the combined results of political upheaval, the Yugoslav wars, Serbian dismissal of Kosovo employees, and international sanctions on Serbia, of which it was then part. After 1999, it had an economic boom as a result of post-war reconstruction and foreign assistance. In the period from 2003 to 2011, despite declining foreign assistance, growth of GDP averaged over 5% a year. This was despite the global financial crisis of 2009 and the subsequent eurozone crisis. A major deterrent to foreign manufacturing investment in Kosovo was removed in 2011 when the European Council accepted a Convention allowing Kosovo to be accepted as part of its rules for diagonal cumulative origination, allowing the label of Kosovo origination to goods which have been processed there but originated in a country elsewhere in the Convention.

   The Stamp Auction Bidders and Consignors Union (SABACU) is a forum for discussing stamp auctions, and represents the interests of stamp auction bidders and consignors in their dealings with stamp auctioneers. All stamp collectors and dealers are welcome to join.   

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