Albania Investment Council: Main News, January – March 2023
THE IC SECRETARIAT JOINS ALBANIA-EU MEETING IN BRUSSELS FOR ANALYTICAL SCREENING OF FIRST GROUP CHAPTER, “FUNDEMANTALS”
16 January 2023
During the screening bilateral meetings held in Brussels in January 2023, the Secretariat was invited to present Albania's private-public dialogue platform, the Investment Council (IC), as a best practice for promoting cooperation among stakeholders and encouraging public consultation during the decision-making process. The Secretariat provided a comprehensive overview of the IC's mission, legal governance, areas of intervention, and working methodology (such as setting agenda, structure and rotation of IC composition, systemic business surveys and monitoring of recommendations). It was emphasized that the platform's continuous consultation and inclusiveness of all stakeholders, including civil society actors, have been critical to its success in promoting an impactful public-private dialogue. However, to maintain the platform's success, greater synergy is needed among all stakeholders to qualitatively influence policymaking and enhance transparency.
[NEW PUBLICATION] ASSESSMENT FROM INVESTMENT COUNCIL’S MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES (2022)
18 January 2023
The Secretariat released its annual assessment report, which is based on feedback from the IC members and associates regarding the IC's work and influence on the investment climate in Albania. The report reveals that there is a growing interest among business actors to participate and contribute to the platform. The report examines the IC's impact on encouraging public institutions to respond to business requests, improving consultation, increasing awareness, and enhancing the regulatory framework.
TACKLING CONCERNS OF LOCAL SMES ON ALTERNATIVE ENERGY RESOURCES THROUGH CONSULTATION TO GATHER TIMELY RELEVANT EVIDENCE
The Secretariat concluded consultations (initiated in December 2022) with public and private stakeholders regarding the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in transitioning to alternative energy resources. Through four focus group meetings with 46 companies, 15 face-to-face interviews with public and private sector stakeholders, and a survey with 75 companies, the Secretariat gathered valuable insights and recommendations on this important topic.
The consultations resulted in some interesting findings and recommendations, which were to be presented in the Secretariat’s upcoming technical note and IC meeting.
INVESTMENT COUNCIL PUTS FORWARD RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FACILITATING THE SMEs TRANSITIONING TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES
31 January 2023
The IC held a meeting chaired by the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Delina Ibrahimaj, to discuss the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in transitioning to alternative energy sources and prioritise intervention. The meeting featured a special guest, Mr Christoph Denk, the Managing Director for Policy Strategy and Delivery at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). During her opening remarks, Minister Ibrahimaj highlighted the resilience and flexibility shown by Albania during the global crisis and stressed the importance of transitioning to green energy and investing in renewable resources at all business levels. She emphasized the need for stronger collaboration between public and private stakeholders to achieve these goals. During the open discussion session, representatives from various business organisations, including the Woman Economic Chamber, FIAA/Voltalia, Amcham, Chamber of Commerce of Tirana, Confindustria Albania, FIX Pro, and Lufra, expressed their concerns about the current energy challenges and offered several suggestions for improvement.
THE SECRETARIAT CONTRIBUTES TO THE NATIONAL PLAN ON OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP (OGP) 2022-2023
By invitation of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Secretariat was invited to contribute to the finalization of the commitments of the National Plan on Open Government Partnership (OGP), alongside other stakeholders representing civil society. The newly formulated commitments have two main components: (1) effective policymaking based on data, such as legislation planning, Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), and public consultation; and (2) democratic, transparent, and accountable governance through public consultation instruments.
During the discussion, the Secretariat emphasized the importance of public consultation as a key regulatory tool to improve transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness of regulation, along with other tools such as RIA and regulatory alternatives and improved accountability arrangements. The Secretariat also advocated for the endorsement of recommendations previously approved by the Investment Council in Meeting XXVII, which can provide a sustainable basis for substantial improvements in the notification and public consultation process.
[NEW PUBLICATION] TECHNICAL NOTE: SMES CHALLENGES DURING TRANSITION TO ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCES
22 February 2023
The document highlights the challenges faced by SMEs in transitioning to alternative energy sources and provides recommendations for addressing these challenges. The document is based on the feedback received from SMEs and other stakeholders through focus group meetings, face-to-face interviews, and a survey conducted by the Secretariat. The report emphasizes the need for policies and initiatives to support SMEs in the transition to renewable energy and emphasizes the importance of raising awareness and providing technical assistance to these businesses. The document also provides recommendations for improving the regulatory framework and enhancing the cooperation between public and private stakeholders to facilitate the transition to alternative energy sources.
ADVOCATING ON THE IMPORTANCE OF TACKLING LABOUR MARKET CHALLENGES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
27 February 2023
The Secretariat contributed in the Regional Round Table organized by the Young Professionals Network (YPN) to discuss the challenges faced by young people in the labour market. During the event, the Secretariat highlighted the importance of the EU, WB and the government’s ongoing efforts in regard, while emphasized the importance of youth engagement to address labour access challenges and shape policy decisions. In addition, it highlighted the fruitful collaboration between the IC and YPN and FEUT to identify key concerns and insights of young people and bring them to the public-private dialogue to support the integration of young professionals in the labour market.
[NEW PUBLICATION] RECOMMENDATIONS MONITORING REPORT 2022
The Secretariat released its annual Recommendations Monitoring Report 2022, which provides an overview of the implementation status of the IC Recommendations. The report outlines the progress made in 2022 towards the implementation of the Investment Council's recommendations in areas such as improving the business environment, rule of law, and increasing transparency and accountability in public institutions. However, the report also notes that there is still work to be done in areas such as legal security on property and the promotion of investments in agro-processing.
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).