The government’s Kosovo taskforce could be back in the war-torn region as early as next week.

Taskforce chairman Nigel Thompson said he wanted to get teams of suitably skilled people into Kosovo to work with the British Army as soon as possible and encouraged British contractors to “think Serbia”.

Thompson said: “There is no money in Serbia until the political situation is sorted out, but people should be thinking about longer term alignments. There’s more to come in the rest of the region, and if British firms are in Kosovo early, they stand a better chance of getting work in Serbia.”

He added: “At the moment, there’s a 30m ecu fund at the disposal of the European Union taskforce which is now based in Pristina, and we want to get British firms attached to that as soon as possible.”

Thompson said that a number of small companies had already shown an interest in establishing links with contractors and consultants in Macedonia.

However, he emphasised that he was currently looking for skilled individuals, rather than companies, to travel to Kosovo.

“I hope to get some people over there next week, or, failing that, the week after,” said Thompson.

“I’m trying to assemble teams of qualified individuals to go out and help, not under the banner of companies, but providing the skills needed in the region.”