Albania Investment Council: Main News, April – June 2022
- January 18, 2023
SURVEY: “For the Improvement of the Public Consultation Process”
The Secretariat of Investment Council (IC) conducted an online survey with business associations and chambers of commerce to explore the business awareness and challenges to engage in the public consultation process—a topic voted by the members to be discussed in the upcoming IC meeting. The survey tackled several aspects of the process, such as i) the right for information and consultation ii) how public institutions respect the right for information and consultation, iii) business interest to participate and engage, and iv) transparency in consultation.
The main highlights from the responses of 26 business associations and chambers of commerce were the following:
FOCUS GROUP MEETING: “For the Improvement of the Public Consultation Process”
20 April 2022
The Secretariat organised a technical discussion with private and public stakeholders to discuss and validate the Secretariat’s preliminary findings and suggestions about the improvement of the consultation process before their formal presentation at the upcoming IC plenary meeting.
The participants stated that the Secretariat’s findings truly reflect the reality of public consultation from the business perspective, and they brought additional evidence from their business members’ experiences. They re-emphasised that business contribution to the consultation process remains challenging mainly due to a lack of commitment and feedback from public administration and said that more should be done to increase the trust of the business in the process.
Meeting with SECO at the Swiss Embassy
28 April 2022
To reitinerate Switzerland’s support to Albania in the field of economic development and employment, a mission from the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) visited Tirana during the last week of April. The specific objective of this mission was to follow up the implementation of the ongoing SECO’s interventions and to explore needs and opportunities for further support in the areas of investment climate, insolvency regime, financial reporting, entrepreneurship, etc.
In this frame, a meeting was held with selected private sector representatives, among them the IC Secretariat, to discuss, and exchange views and perspectives on the country’s context, public policies, challenges, and opportunities for private sector development. During this meeting, the Head of Secretariat, Ms Leka presented some of the key IC findings on business climate and relevant follow-up actions while also thanked SECO for supporting and funding the IC activity since 2019.
New Publication: IC Activity Report 2021
29 April 2022
The report highlights the IC flexibility to align its agenda to key business priorities and reforms and its strengthened role in the consultation of important legislation and strategy documents, while the Secretariat continued to provide evidence-based feedback from the business and raise awareness about IC recommendations through online publications and advocating in partners events.
IC puts forward recommendations for the improvement of the public consultation process
1 June 2022
Chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, the IC held a plenary meeting to discuss the private sector’s concerns and recommendations for the improvement of the public consultation process. During her speech, Minister Ibrahimaj highlighted the importance of the public consultation process and its mechanisms for adopting meaningful legislation and integrating transparency in the process while providing the opportunity to the groups of interest and the public to contribute to the implementation of reforms.
During the open discussion session, the business representatives from AmCham, Producers Associations, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tirana, FIAA, and UCCIAL expressed their concerns about the current performance of the public consultation process and put forward several suggestions.
IC and FEUT sign a memorandum of understanding
10 June 2022
A Memorandum of Understanding between Albania Investment Council (AIC), and the Faculty of Economics, University of Tirana (FEUT) was signed by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj (in the role of AIC Chair) and the FEUT Dean, Prof. Dr. Dhori Kule. The memorandum sets out the framework for cooperation between the AIC and FEUT for their activities in the frame of improving the business climate in the country. It aims to enhance the combined collaboration of the two institutions in the exchange of information, exchange of technical and professional expertise, exchange of knowledge and experience, promoting mutual activities and forums, as well as setting up a monitoring framework to follow up and implement AIC recommendations.
For an increased role of business associations in promoting good governance and the fight against corruption
14 June 2022
The Secretariat of Albania Investment Council participated in the first Anti-Corruption Conference organised by the Albanian Prime Minister’s Office and contributed as a panellist in the session “The role of business associations in promoting good governance and fighting corruption”. In the focus of discussions: The role of business associations in the fight against corruption and the ability of a corporate business to combat abusive practices.
In her speech, the Head of Secretariat, Ms Diana Leka (Angoni), said that as per the Secretariat’s analyses, businesses acknowledge digitalisation as a key instrument to fight corruption, but they still note as the main systemic problems leading to informality, the interaction with the public institutions and fiscal instability.
For the facilitation of the private sector’s access to innovative financial services
14 June 2022
The Secretariat of Albania Investment Council participated in the forum “Digitalisation vs cash” organised by the Albanian Association of Banks (AAB) with the participation of high-level representatives from the government, banking sector, and the business community. The forum centred its discussion around the treatment of alternative payment channels, the reduction of physical money, the fight against informality, and banks’ access to the e-Albania platform.
In her intervention, the Head of Secretariat, Ms Diana Leka (Angoni), said that IC has evidenced the key role banks play in reducing physical money in the economy and provision of alternative payment channels, while recommended the need for a prior consistent analysis of the progress achieved to date and of the current challenges faced by all the involved parties before going ahead with new digital financial intervention.
Working Document “Public Consultation as an effective tool for improving decision-making and public-private dialogue”
Prepared by the Secretariat through a bottom-up approach, the study prioritizes some interventions to increase the trust among the stakeholders and enhance the usage optimization of public consultation instruments within the digitalisation reform undertaken by the Government.
INVESTMENT COUNCIL’S MENTIONING IN THE MEDIA
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).