30 April 2016
Albania: Market Profile
Major Economic Indicators
- Albania is a small country in Southeast Europe, located across from Italy (less than 72 kilometres from the Italian coast) and bordering Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. With a coastline on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest, Albania is strategically placed at the centre of a natural crossroad in Europe.
- The Albanian economy experienced many ups and downs during the transition period after the fall of communism in 1990. Today, it is a liberalised economy mainly focussed on tourism and natural resources (chrome, oil and other minerals). Other priority sectors are agriculture, tourism, ICT, transportation and logistics, renewable energy, manufacturing and mining.
- Along with other Western Balkan countries, Albania was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership during the Thessaloniki European Council summit in June 2003. Following the country’s formal application in 2009, the European Commission recommended in October 2012 that Albania be granted EU candidate status, subject to the country making key reforms to its judicial and public administration and revisions to its parliamentary rules of procedures. In June 2014, Albania became an official candidate for accession to the EU.
- Following the successful co-operation between Albania and China in developing “the Arbri Road” project commissioned in April 2015, both the public and private sectors in the two countries have shown interest in co-operating in other new infrastructure and transport projects. These projects include the Adriatic-Ionian motorway, the Eighth Corridor, the “Thumane-Vore-Rrogozhine” road segment, a bypass at Elbasan and the Orikum-Palase tunnel.
- To facilitate foreign investment, Albania’s tax system makes no distinction between foreign and domestic investors. The future development of the Albanian economy will remain on attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) with a focus on sectors such as energy, tourism, agriculture and food processing, mining and ICT. More information on the investment environment and the relevant regulations can be found at the Albanian Investment Development Agency (AIDA).
- The inflows of foreign direct investment (FDI) to Albania totalled US$1.1 billion in 2014, when China’s total stock of FDI to Albania topped US$7 million, up from virtually none in 2005. Investment from Hong Kong, though, is far from significant.
Hong Kong’s Trade with Albania
More information on the Belt and Road countries’ economic and investment environment, tax and other subjects that are important in considering investment and doing business are available in The Belt and Road Initiative: Country Business Guides.