EBRD issues its country strategy for Albania

London, United Kingdom – Albania has made significant progress in transition reforms and the macroeconomic environment has remained favourable in recent years, says EBRD in its latest strategy issued today. However, key challenges still persist, particularly in improving judiciary environment, eliminating corruption, upgrading the infrastructure sector and reducing the poverty levels.

The economic growth has been stable at 5-6 per cent, driven mainly by construction, business services and transport. While Albania made a progress in macroeconomic environment, it must continue to show strong commitments in improving high trade and fiscal deficits. Other challenges include: improving access to finance, especially for SMEs; strengthening of the public sector; privatising the remaining large companies and further enhancing country’s infrastructure sector in particular the substandard road and unreliable power supply networks.

The EBRD is the country’s largest single investor, having invested up to €291 million in around 21 projects. Murat Yildiran, EBRD Head of Office for Albania, said the Bank remains strongly committed to supporting Albania’s efforts to address its main challenges and hopes the Government will continue to show material progress in implementing the reforms and improving the business environment in order to attract more FDIs.

The Bank’s focus will be on the following main priorities:

  • Supporting Infrastructure; where rehabilitation and restructuring of the transport and energy sectors as well as its integration within the region will remain a key priority. The Bank will also support Government’s efforts to utilise Public Private Partnership (PPP) schemes and explore other financial structures specially aimed at environmental and energy efficiency projects.
  • Supporting Private Sector development; where the Bank will renew its efforts to finance existing companies as well as green field investments. In parallel, it will offer support in privatisation of remaining large scale companies, such as in the telecom and power sectors. The Bank will also continue its TurnAround Management programme, to help managers of local businesses become competitive and ready for EU accession.
  • Supporting Financial sector; where the Bank will promote SME lending through local banks, while exploring the possibilities of new financial products tailored for SMEs. The Bank will also work to complete the privatisation of INSIG, the insurance company.