ALBANIA INVESTMENT COUNCIL: MAIN NEWS, JULY – SEPTEMBER 2021
LAUNCHING OF THE IC SURVEY’S FINDINGS “COVID-19’s IMPACT ON THE BUSINESS” (2021)
This assessment is an initiative of the Secretariat of the Investment Council to gather timely evidence on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business activity, conducted for the second consecutive year during April-May 2021. The survey contained 30 closed and opened questions (70% similar to the 2020 Survey), and it was conducted online with the participation of 417 companies. Some main highlights from this assessment’s findings:
- The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the business need for an orientation toward innovation, 57% of businesses declared to have changed their investment plans towards innovation, mainly in new technologies and risk management.
- Half of the Albanian companies (out of the 23% that admitted to using online working) say that online working will be considered as an alternative to office work in the future.
REPORTING ON THE PROGRESS OF IC RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE FIRST SEMESTER OF 2021
Despite the challenging times, some encouraging progress has been noted regarding the progress of IC recommendations—identifying an implementation rate of 38% out of 264 recommendations issued in 24 plenary meetings since 2015. During the first half of 2021, we identified some advancements in 15 recommendations that also reflect support for the economy’s recovery after the Covid19 pandemic.
From these recommendations, worth mentioning are:
- Prioritization of digitalization and acceleration of national broadband coverage;
- Accuracy and harmonization of national statistical data referring to the level of use and accessibility in ICT by businesses;
- Simplification and better information for the SMEs on the supporting projects available in Albania;
- Stimulation of e-commerce trading.
LAUNCHING OF CONSULTATIONS – UPCOMING IC MEETING “ON THE INTERNATIONALISATION OF MICRO, SMALL AND MEDIUM ENTERPRISES”
This topic comes as a request of the IC members to discuss the challenges of integrating Albanian SMEs in regional markets and beyond—within the Secretariat’s framework to analyse business issues systematically. The analysis will also focus on a sectoral approach for MSMEs in tourism, agro-processing, BPO and apparel.
IC will attempt to explore and analyse possible problems from the perspective of the MSMEs, focusing on four main pillars:
(1) The context and environment in which Albanian MSMEs operate;
(2) Managerial and operational capacities of MSMEs;
(3) Access and information to markets/regional clients and beyond;
(4) Financial capacity.
NEW INVESTMENT COUNCIL CHAIR
Following the April elections, Prime Minister Edi Rama appointed his new cabinet of ministers in September, bringing about some changes in the Investment Council’s leadership and representation. The New Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, has become the new IC Chair, replacing Ms Anila Denaj, who led the Council from 2019-2021. Meanwhile, the new Minister for the Protection of Entrepreneurship, Ms Edona Bilali, will be replacing former Minister Eduard Shalsi at the table of the Investment Council. At the end of September, the Secretariat has held an introductory meeting with the new Minister of Finance and Economy and her cabinet to update them on the activity of the Investment Council and preparations for the upcoming plenary meeting.
KEY PRIORITIES FOR THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THE COUNTRY – SECRETARIAT OF THE INVESTMENT COUNCIL IN THE ROUNDTABLE “ALBANIA’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES”
15 September 2021
The Secretariat of Albania Investment Council participated in a roundtable organised by the British Embassy in Tirana on “Albania’s Economic Development: Challenges and Opportunities”. The objective of this roundtable was to discuss key development issues facing Albania, considering significant challenges posed by the rapidly changing climate, economic hardship stemming from Albania’s history and, more recently, COVID-19.
SECRETARIAT’S RECENT PUBLICATIONS
- Albania Economic Outlook, July 2021
- Survey Findings “Covid-19’s Impact on the Business”
- Progress of IC Recommendations (July 2021)
INVESTMENT COUNCIL IN THE MEDIA
- Top Channel: Covid-19 Pandemic: 23% of companies say “Employees Adapted Working from Home” (in Albanian)
- IC Survey: 89% of companies were affected negatively by the pandemic; More than half, a sharp fall in income (in Albanian)
- Report TV: 17 months in the pandemic, businesses “do not take lessons”, 48% of them without a contingency plan (in Albanian)
ABOUT ALBANIA INVESTMENT COUNCIL
Investment Council is a platform set up by the Albanian authorities with support from the EBRD to intensify the dialogue between the government and the private sector, improve the business climate and promote good governance. The work of the Council is supported by a Secretariat, an independent body of professionals selected and contracted by the EBRD to engage with the business community directly. Investment Council is supported by the Ministry of Finance and Economy, EBRD and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).