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to the news site of the Chamber of Commerce for Sweden - Southeast Europe in cooperation with Business Sweden and Governments and Organisations in SEE.

EBRD and Tirana Municipality to cooperate in infrastructure projects

AlbaniaPosted by Martin Ancons Sat, December 05, 2015 10:13:15

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will provide funding and support for Tirana Municipality for the improvement of infrastructure and the sustainable development of the city.

The new collaboration was announced on Thursday by the Tirana Municipality press office after the representatives of the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Understanding, respectively by the Mayor of Tirana Erion Veliaj and by the First Vice President of the EBRD, Phil Bennett, in Tirana capital.

According to the signed MoU, the EBRD will support the Municipality of Tirana in compiling projects, in the aspect of institutional development, and will offer assistance in the implementation of projects and procurement. The two institutions have also agreed to cooperate in the field of urban transport and road infrastructure.

After signing the MoU, the Mayor of Tirana stressed that such agreement is very important for Tirana city and that the implementation of sustainable and eco-friendly projects will support the establishment of a sustainable environment which will boost the economic development of the city and will improve the living standards for its citizens. In turn, the First Vice President of the EBRD Phil Bennett declared that a sustainable infrastructure is one of the main conditions for the development of a friendly urban climate and the EBRD will assist in the establishment of such infrastructure in Tirana city.

Since the beginning of the EBRD activity in Albania, the bank has invested about $ 1 billion in more than 70 different projects, mostly in the economy field.



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Planning to start a business in the Balkans? Look here what advantages Albania offers

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, June 28, 2015 21:00:49

It´s not as complicated as some people might think to start a company in the Balkans. Take Albania for example. Registration doesn´t take many days and it requires not much capital either.

You can read more about what is required to start a new business in Albania and at the same time get useful advice in the new report “Doing Business 2015” produced by the World bank. Download it here.

At the same time you can download information directly from the government of Albania outlining all the potential and support the country can offer an entrepreneur or investor. Download that report here.





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Nytt ljus över Albanien

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, March 29, 2015 17:28:30
Hur kan det ha tagit över tjugo år för ett land som rymmer så mycket sevärt att ­synas på den internationella turistkartan? DN ställer sig frågan efter en resa utmed vackra havskuster, höga berg och till historiska platser.
Läs mer i söndagens resereportage i Dagens Nyheter här.




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Albania launches tender for 2500-2690 MHz spectrum

AlbaniaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Fri, February 27, 2015 14:14:29

The Albanian Electronic and Postal Communications Authority (AKEP) has launched a tender process for the 2500-2690 MHz frequency bands.
The bidding deadline is April 9 and the tender documents can be downloaded here.

Did you know there is a Business forum on Linkedin for people who do business between Sweden and the countries in Southeast Europe? Apply for your free membership here.





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Albania launches tender for 4G frequencies

AlbaniaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Tue, January 27, 2015 14:34:22

Albania's telecommunications regulator (AKEP) has issued a tender to award licences for the use of frequencies in the 1800MHz spectrum band, the Independent Balkan News Agency reported. Two mobile service providers active in Albania, Vodafone and Eagel Mobile have already expressed a commitment to launch 4G services.

Albania currently has four mobile phone companies, the former state owned company AMC, founded in 1996, privatized by COSMOTE in 2000 and then part of Deutsche Telecom. The second mobile company in the country is Vodafone, which started to operate in 2001. Several years later, once landline company Albtelecom, which held the license for mobile operator Eagle, was sold to a Turkish company, in order to start the third mobile phone service. The fourth mobile phone operator was Plus. The main shareholder of this company was Vala from Kosovo and several Albanian businessmen. The first three companies use 3G technology, while although Plus obtained the license last year, it could not keep it, because according to AKEP, it didn’t make the payment and the license was revoked.

Albania is one of the last countries in the region which has not yet introduced 4G technology, although year after year there have been declarations for its launch. Even smaller neighboring countries such as Kosovo, Montenegro, FYROM, have implemented the 4G system for a while.

In Albania, there are currently around 6 million mobile phone numbers. It’s believed that at least half of them are still in use. Companies do not publish public data for the number of users and other figures. Due to preferential charges within the same operator, many Albanians hold two or more mobile phones in order to have a low cost of Communication.







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Ta en charter till ”the hidden bargain of the Balkans” nästa år

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, September 07, 2013 20:34:21

Albanien har länge varit det enda Balkanlandet utan charter från Sverige, men nästa sommar blir det ändring på det. Apollo startar då resor till badorten Saranda.
– Albanien är ett nytt spännande land med fantastiska möjligheter till sol, bad och upplevelser, säger Apollos vd Nina Hornewall till tidningen Expressen.
Brittiska Mail Online skriver lyriskt om "Europe´s last corner" i artikeln "Beaches and beauty in Albania, the hidden bargain of the Balkans" och säger samtidigt "you better go there soon if you want to catch the authentic Albania".

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PM Berisha says Albania is to become the region´s leader in information technology

AlbaniaPosted by Uvner Business Consulting Wed, June 05, 2013 10:19:46

Albania's Council of Ministers approved the National Plan for the Development of Broadband. Albania's Prime Minister Sali Berisha, who singled out the decision as one of the most important agenda, said that Albania's progress in the digital area is today one of the most tangible reality. The Prime Minister explained that this plan has two major goals, one of which is Albania to be a leader in the region, for information technology.
"This plan, said the prime minister , makes possible the extension of the use of internet in every cell of the Albanian society, public institutions, private whatever they are. This plan makes it possible for Albanian citizens to get online with higher quality, greater speed, more wide-ranging. " Read more in the news from Balkans.com.

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Growing spirit in "Europe´s China"

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, June 17, 2012 13:17:34

One third of the country´s population emigrated after the fall of communism 20 years ago. But the last decade Albania has had a steady economic development while the crisis in the rest of Europe only got worse. So now a large number of Albanians return home to find new business opportunities and a growing prosperity.Watch this video clip from Radio Sweden reporting (in mixed languages) from "Europe´s China".

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Albania Seeks Private Investment in Low-Carbon Energy Projects

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, May 19, 2012 16:03:41

Albania is trying to attract private investors to its power market as it diversifies energy sources and privatizes some of its infrastructure. The government, which awarded 5.2 billion euros ($6.6 billion) in wind power and hydroelectric contracts in the past four years, will support natural gas pipeline projects and processing plants, according to Enno Bozdo, deputy minister for economy, trade and energy.The Adriatic nation of about 3 million people wants to curb reliance on hydropower, which accounts for 98 percent of its domestic electricity production. Albania offers incentives including tax exemptions for clean-energy activities and a faster permitting process to attract investors, he said. Ten licences for 1,700 megawatts of wind power have been awarded, and 125 hydropower agreements worth 1,500 megawatts since 2008. Read more here in this article from Bloomberg Newsweek.

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Albania a new mini-super power says Berisha

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, March 24, 2011 23:05:33

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha declared Monday during a conference on renewable energy held in Tirana that Albania has the potential of becoming a mini-super power in the region regarding the energy sector while pointing out that investing in renewable energy remains a priority for the Albanian government, Top Channel reports.
According to the Premier, Albania has a huge potential on wind as well as solar energy, being one of Europe’s sunniest countries. Berisha added that his government is committed to adopt one of the best legal frameworks for this purpose, while he invited banks to consider the financing of projects in the field. (Balkans.com)
The countryn certainly seems to have got a good start as statistics from the institute INSTAT shows that in 2010 Albania's energy output went up by 47.5% year on year to 7,714GWh, according to BNE.

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Another 3G license to be awarded soon in Albania

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, March 23, 2011 11:12:52

The Albanian Electronic and Postal Communications Authority is considering awarding a second 3G license soon according to Balkans.com. The move is seen as a step toward market liberalization since 3G technology in the Albanian market is currently being offered only by Vodafone Albania, thus creating a monopoly situation.
Vodafone Albania CEO Haris Broumidis quickly reacted on the announcement saying that Vodafone Albania continues the rapid expansion of 3G network covering with 3G signal the major cities with plans to cover the densest population areas within summer 2011. More info here.

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EU invites to an information session on tender procedures for Albania

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, March 03, 2011 00:28:43

The Delegation of the European Union to Albania has the pleasure to invite all interested economic operators to an open information session on practical aspects related to the participation in calls for tenders financed under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
The objective of this information session is to analyse from a practitioner's point of view how the IPA-funded tender procedures for the provision of services, works and supplies are conducted, with particular emphasis on the publication and application of the selection and award criteria.
The Delegation of the European Union to Albania plans to launch competitive tender procedures to the tune of approximately €50 million during 2011, and attaches great importance to the conduction of transparent and objective procedures.

The information session will take place at the Conference Room of the ABA Business Centre 5th Floor, Rruga Papa Gjon Pali II, Tirana, Albania, on 17 March from 9:30 to 17:30 and is free of charge. Interested economic operators shall confirm their participation by sending an e‑mail to Mrs Alma Delia (Alma.Delia@ec.europa.eu) by 11 March 2011 at the latest.

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Albania forms new political party

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, February 27, 2011 12:26:29

The Albanian Telegraphic Agency has reported that a new political party has been formed in Albania. The Moderate Socialist Party (MSP) has been formed out of exponents of the left-wing and former members of the Socialist Party. (BNE 27 Feb)

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New Raiffeisen report focuses on Albania

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, March 14, 2010 12:31:37

The Austrian bank Raiffeisen has recently published a new economic outlook on Albania titled "Step by step to EU membership".
The Albanian economy was considered to be the best performing economy in Central and Eastern Europe 2008 with a growth that year of 7,85 % yoy. According to IMF the growth slowed down 2009, although positive with a growth of 3 % and is forecasted at 1,6 % 2010 yoy.
Members can download the full report here.

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EU warns Albania: "Your EU perspective is at stake"

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sat, February 20, 2010 22:47:52
Ambassadors have told Albania that its prospective membership of the EU is threatened by a political stalemate that has crippled the country’s parliament. A delegation is set to visit Tirana to help find a solution.

Ambassadors from across Europe have warned Albania that its application to join the EU is in jeopardy unless a damaging political crisis is resolved.

Representatives for EU nations in Tirana met on Wednesday to call on the two main political parties to resolve a crisis that is preventing Albania's parliament from doing its work.

"The EU perspective for Albania is at stake," Spanish ambassador Manuel Montobbio de Balanzo warned both parties.

The country's socialist-led opposition, led by mayor of Tirana Edi Rama, has been boycotting parliament since elections were held last June. Socialist party members and supporters claim there was electoral fraud and are demanding a recount of votes and a parliamentary probe into the elections.

This has so far been ruled out by the country's Prime Minister Sali Berisha, whose conservative party controls 75 of the parliament's 140 seats.

The boycott means that parliament has been unable to pass new laws and adopt reforms for closer European integration.

A Council of Europe mission is due to visit Albania to discuss the crisis later this week. (Deutsche Welle, 20 Feb).

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One of the few countries in Europe to grow in 2009

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, February 09, 2010 00:18:45
The relatively closed Albanian economy was impacted with a delay by the global financial crisis and therefore recorded positive growth of 3.5% in 2009. The timely response of monetary policy also softened the blow on the economy. While macroeconomic stability has been maintained and the budget for 2010 contains contingencies should revenue dynamics disappoint, reforms to mitigate bottlenecks to faster growth will need to be undertaken.
This brand new country report is focused on the economic outlook for Albania. Download it here.

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Europe´s fastest growing economy takes strides towards EU accession

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, December 14, 2009 21:49:12

Many in Albania - which has Europe's fastest-growing economy and aspirations to join the EU - feel the former dictatorship has come a long way fast, reports BBC from Tirana.
According to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is the biggest institutional investor in Albania, the national economy grew by 7% in 2008 and 6% in the first quarter of 2009, driven largely by investment in public infrastructure and in the telecommunications industry.
It is not recession-proof, but foreign investment is increasing, as is confidence in the banks. And all predictions are for the country to stay in the black.
Read more of this interesting BBC article here.

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Valet i Albanien - bättre men inte perfekt

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, September 09, 2009 10:47:01

Sommarens parlamentsval i Albanien visade prov på att både regeringspartierna och oppositionen var mycket angelägna om att allt skulle gå rätt till. På många punkter skedde det en förbättring jämfört med tidigare val. Men samtidigt fanns brister, främst inom administrationen och inblandning av partipolitik i rösträkningen.

Detta är inledningen på en intresant analys av det albanska valet, skriven av Arba Kokalari, politiskt sakkunnig på utrikesdepartementet. Artikeln är ursprungligen skriven för Jarl Hjalmarsson stiftelsen och Arba har vänligen låtit oss publicera den även här på vår nyhetssida.

Klicka här för att läsa hela analysen.

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Stark kritik mot Albanien i dagens DN-ledare

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Thu, July 30, 2009 23:39:32

Under den svarta rubriken Albansk maffia ger DN i dagens ledare svidande kritik mot hur Albanien styrs i allmänhet och hur valet sköttes i synnerhet. Bl a skriver man:
"Det är makt snarare än ideologi som styr albansk politik. Det regerande högerpartiet leds av en före detta kommunist, Sali Berisha, som inte dragit sig för att utnyttja auktoritära metoder. Oberoende institutioner med något inflytande exi­sterar knappt. Domstolarna är korrumperade eller utsatta för politiska påtryckningar. Teve dominerar mediemarknaden och är i hög grad beroende av statliga annonskampanjer."

Kritiken bygger på en intervju med Eron Veliaj från den albanska medborgarrättsrörelsen, som nyligen var i Stockholm på besök och hela ledaren kan läsas här.
Ledaren avslutas med en uppmaning till den svenska regeringen att använda det hägrande EU-medlemskapet som ett påtryckningsmedel mot den albanska regimen.

Det går bra att lämna kommentarer och ha synpunkter på innehållet i ledaren här nedan.

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Albania PM re-election confirmed

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, July 29, 2009 00:05:16

Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha's alliance has won enough seats to form a government, though it fell one seat short of a majority, officials say. The result means Mr Berisha's centre-right alliance will be forced to govern with a small left-wing party. Read more here. (BBC News, 27 July)

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Highway opens up Albania for Kosovars

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Mon, June 29, 2009 01:07:10

A spectacular 61km section of highway through mountainous northern Albania opens on Thursday, creating a strategic link with fellow ethnic Albanians in landlocked Kosovo. For Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia last year, the modern four-lane route is a vital commercial link through a friendly country.

At more than €600m (£510m, $840m) the new stretch of road will cut the eight-hour journey between Tirana and Pristina by at least two hours, according to Ernest Noka, Albania’s deputy transport minister. (Financial Times, Tirana, June 25)

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Albania Approves Controversial Wind Farm

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Tue, June 23, 2009 13:14:11
A few weeks ahead of crucial elections in Albania, the government has quietly approved the construction of Europe's potentially biggest onshore wind-farm, a project that environmentalist warn could wreak havoc on the unspoiled coastline and others say could be a breach of law. (Balkan Insight, June 23)
Read more here.

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Positive growth forecasted for Albania

AlbaniaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Sun, June 14, 2009 08:21:04

Albania appears an unlikely bright spot on Europe’s gloomy economic map, with international institutions still forecasting positive growth of about 1.2 per cent this year.
While its cash-strapped Balkan neighbours seek emergency finance from the International Monetary Fund, Europe’s second-poorest country, after Moldova, secured a €250m ($340m, £224m) medium-term commercial loan last month, arranged by Deutsche Bank and Alpha Bank of Greece.
More to read here

....but stil a long way to go to EU

The European Commission had urged Albania to put off its application to the EU until after the country's general elections on June 28.
All elections held in Albania since the demise of communism in the early 1990s have been disputed and marred by incidents. The European Commission has said that elections in post-communist Albania have never been certified as free or fair by international observers.
In a report released by the Commission late last year, it said more progress was needed in Albania on fighting organised crime and corruption, and that the state administration and the courts needed to be strengthened.

Albania has been trying -- parliament adopted a new electoral law last November aimed at preventing fraud -- but there is a long way to go.

Prime Minister Sali Berisha said that the country's formal application to the EU was of "historic significance" and marked Albania's return to the "family of European nations."

"Albania has proved today that it is a functioning democracy," he said on Tuesday.

Berisha also said that 96 percent of Albanians wanted to join the EU.

Michael Leigh, the European Commission's director general for enlargement, said that holding free and fair parliamentary elections in June remained a key condition.

"It is now up to Albania to demonstrate its capacity to move to the next stage of European integration," Leigh said. (Deutsche Welle, May 3).



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