Albania Investment Council Main News, April – June 2023
New IC Website
14 April 2023
As part of its ongoing commitment to better serve the business community and enhance the public-private dialogue, the Secretariat announces the launch of the new IC website. The revamped platform intends to offer a user-friendly experience and easy access to important resources, reflecting the IC’s dedication to providing timely and accurate evidence. The website features technical reports, publications, and other valuable resources for evidence-based policy influencing from a bottom-up approach. The IC has contributed to better governance through the support and trust of its partners by providing critical insights from the private sector and proposing interventions in various reforms. For more information, visit www.investment.com.al
IC Meeting – Moving from low wages discussion to more labour productivity for a sustainable growth
18 April 2023
The IC held a meeting chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, to discuss main entrepreneurs’ challenges on the subject “From Low Wages to Productivity at Work.” The main objective was to improve the efficiency of common interventions in support of specific sectors and reshape the focus and attention of the public debate from low wages to labour productivity. During the meeting, a study by the Secretariat was presented on the impact of the recent wage increase on productivity, employee motivation, and market competitiveness. The study was based on desk research and an online survey of 506 companies.
During her opening remarks, Minister Ibrahimaj explained that the government’s decision to increase the minimum wage was previously consulted with selected (most impacted) business sector representatives through other formats, while it was not meant to burden businesses with additional costs. Rather, it was taken with the purpose of establishing a sustainable economic future, which includes three goals: increasing productivity, promoting higher salaries across all levels, and reducing informality.
During the open discussion session, business representatives (The Union of Traders, Chamber of Commerce of Tirana, Business Diaspora Chamber, AmCham, DIHA, Woman Economic Chamber, Union of Chambers of Commerce, Proeksport Albania, and KASH) shared their views, including valuable concerns and suggestions on how to better streamline the wage increase process.
The Secretariat Contributes to the Economic Forum “Business Climate, Productivity, and Human Capital”
24 April 2023
With an invitation extended by the State Minister for Standards and Services, Ms Milva Ekonomi, the Head of Secretariat, Ms Diana Leka (Angoni), contributed as a panellist in the plenary session “Sustainable growth and favourable business climate”. During the session, Ms Leka highlighted the key work of the Investment Council (IC) from 2015–2023 in supporting entrepreneurs to optimise costs related to their integration into the global value chain and innovation and to address the uncertainties they face. Despite expanded global market opportunities and the recent facilitation of local digital public services, the Secretariat's research shows that small firm size, low levels of productivity, and limited access to finance remain the main structural factors hindering the inclusive expansion of local SMEs into global chains and export markets.
[NEW PUBLICATION] Technical Note: From Low Wages to Labour Productivity
30 April 2023
The report emphasizes the need for policy reforms, including increasing minimum wages, enhancing vocational training, and promoting innovation and digitalization. It also suggests fostering collaboration between SMEs and educational institutions to address the skill gap and improve productivity in the long term. The recommendations aim to enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of SMEs in Albania’s evolving economy. Two recommendations were quickly accepted and adopted by MFE as relating to the indexation of wages for the public institutions’ employees as well as more inclusiveness of the business representatives in decision-making through the National Council of Labour.
[Survey Findings] Minimum Wage and Productivity
30 April 2023
In a recent survey conducted by the Secretariat of Albania Investment Council with 506 companies, local entrepreneurs shared their views and insights on whether the increase in the minimum wage had a significant impact on their competitiveness. The survey aimed to understand how businesses addressed relevant costs, taking into account sector-specific considerations.
[NEW PUBLICATION] Albania’s Economic Outlook 2022
30 April 2023
The Secretariat released its annual publication—a summary of the main macroeconomic indicators of Albania and Western Balkans for 2022 as published by national and international official sources.
The Secretariat Contributes to the WBIF Project Financiers’ Group (PFG) Meeting, 24-25 May 2023
25 May 2023
On 24 and 25 May 2023, the WBIF Project Financiers' Group (PFG) met in Brussels. Upon GoA’s suggestion, the Head of the Secretariat, Ms Diana Leka (Angoni) contributed to a dedicated session on the potential support to the private sector through the upcoming WBIF instrument. During her intervention, Ms Leka presented some IC evidence on the views of local entrepreneurs regarding innovation, access to finance, institutional coordination, and education alignment. She also emphasized that aligning the EU Green and Digital Agenda with local entrepreneurs’ views would maximize benefits and help the Western Balkans absorb upcoming assistance.
Focus Group Meeting with WECA “On the Quality of Digital Public Services”
22 June 2023
[New Publication] Activity Report 2022
27 June 2023
SECRETARIAT’S RECENT PUBLICATIONS
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. Investment Council is supported by the Ministry of Finance and Economy, EBRD and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).