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Investment Council Proposes Recommendations for Improving Digital Public Services and Strengthening the Business Environment

Tirana, 6 October 2023 / The Investment Council (IC), led by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Mr Ervin Mete, convened to discuss the quality of digitised public services with a focus on the private sector, highlighting the progress made so far and the challenges encountered by both public and private actors as related to the delivery of such services. The meeting was attended by all IC members and around thirty observers representing the public and private sectors and development agencies

In his speech, Minister Ervin Mete underscored the significant progress made in digitalisation efforts within Albania. He emphasized the positive sentiment expressed by businesses in the Secretariat’s survey regarding online services and their role in reducing administrative burdens. Minister Mete highlighted the Albanian government’s unwavering commitment to digitalisation, service reengineering, and deregulation to foster a more favourable business environment. He acknowledged the need for continuous improvement in this area and expressed confidence that the recommendations prepared by the Secretariat would be a focal point for the Council’s discussions, ultimately contributing to further advancements in digital services and the business climate.

The Secretariat briefly presented the findings of a study prepared through consultation with key representatives from the public and private sectors, three focus group meetings with 55 participants, desk research, and an online survey with 324 companies. The study provides 11 recommendations addressing areas such as institutions’ responsibility and scope on re-engineering, business education and awareness, the digital capacity of public administration, security, assistance, complaints, online payments, and other technicalities.

During the open discussion session, various business representatives, including AmCham, Manufacturers Union, Albanian Diaspora Business Chamber, Union of Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Confindustria Albania, Pro-Eksport, ️Albanian Agribusiness Council, emphasised that currently, businesses continue to grapple with persistent challenges, encompassing technical and fundamental issues. From a business perspective, the focus should shift from debating the necessity of digital transformation to addressing crucial areas such as the cost of digitalisation for SMEs, pace and quality of implementation, user adoption rates, state support mechanisms, the importance of data security, and the regulatory and financial capacities required for successful digitisation – both by institutions and businesses. Special interventions were provided by the State Minister for Entrepreneurship and Business Climate, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj on the government’s digitisation agenda, while representatives from the EBRD and the EU informed on their respective contributions and support for digitalisation reform. The participants praised the IC’s effectiveness as a tripartite and sustainable platform, emphasising its value in discussing business challenges and government initiatives affecting the business and economic landscape. They also underscored the crucial importance of following up on the implementation of the recommendations put forth by the Council for tangible actions and meaningful results.

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Full materials for this meeting will be published in the next few weeks in our dedicated section https://ww.investment.com.al/ic-meetings/.

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