Investment Council discusses on the Interaction between Municipalities and Business

January 27th, 2020

Tirana, Monday, 27 January 2020 / The Investment Council held a plenary meeting with the agenda item On the Interaction Between the Municipalities and the Business – Transparency, Services and Local Economic Development,” chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Anila Denaj. Attended the meeting the Minister for the Protection of Entrepreneurship, Mr Eduard Shalsi, Deputy Mayor of Tirana, Mr Arbjan Mazniku, representatives from the Agency for Support of Local Self-Governance, Albanian Association of Municipalities, Association for Local Autonomy, Municipality of Korça as well as other representatives of the public and private sector and foreign diplomatic missions in the capacity of observer.

At the opening of the meeting, Minister Denaj said that this meeting is a good opportunity to reflect on the current situation, opportunities for improving the business climate and propose necessary measures, in line with the central and local mid-term policies. Minister Denaj emphasized the need to increase communication and cooperation between the municipalities and the businesses, to increase transparency and economic development of the country.

In the frame of this meeting’s agenda item, the Investment Council conducted a survey during July-August 2019 with a focus on the interaction between municipalities and business, completed by 300 businesses nationwide. Meanwhile, stakeholder consultation (municipalities & businesses in Tirana, Elbasan, Korça, Shkodra) was conducted during November 2019 – January 2020.

The Secretariat’s survey and analysis have highlighted the necessity for greater co-operation among stakeholders to increase transparency in the decision-making process in relevant municipalities and municipal councils, identifying also concrete instruments such as local platforms. The objective of the analysis prepared by the IC Secretariat for this meeting was to stimulate the debate on improving the investment climate based on identifying issues related to the interaction between municipalities and business, with a focus on:

  • Transparency on local taxes and tariffs and adopted decisions of municipal council;
  • Services that the business benefits (cost versus quality and standard);
  • The role of municipalities in local economic development and investment promotion.

The discussions among participants focused on the concrete issues and cases identified during the interaction with various municipalities, mostly related to a) procedures for setting and approving local tax and tariff methodologies; b) transparency on their collection and destination; c) consultation of local fiscal packages with stakeholders; d) documentation required for the payment of taxes or to obtain local licenses; e) controversial procedures for the freezing and unfreezing of bank accounts; f) the quality and standard of services provided by municipalities, etc.

Participants had the opportunity to express their views in the spirit of constructive comments that underlined the need for a permanent dialogue between the municipalities and the business to improve the investment climate.

Full meeting materials will be published soon on the IC website. For more information, please visit us again.

Investment Council is supported by the Ministry of Finance and Economy, the EBRD and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)