Economy & Government

Economy

Albania has made significant strides in establishing a credible and stable market economy over the past two decades.

The country looks to western influences in Europe and North America as a model for what they hope to achieve economically. The government and economic policies encourage foreign investment, particularly western investment to fuel its economic growth in the future. GDP was $12.4 billion, and growth was 2% in 2014. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2014 was $868 million, with Canada being the largest foreign direct investor and Bankers Petroleum being a significant contributor.

Albania has a population of around 3 million people. The main industries in Albania include  agriculture, extracting, manufacturing, construction, and services.

Agriculture contributes approximately 20% to Albania’s GDP, and accounts for almost half of the employment either directly or indirectly. The government hopes to boost production in the agro processing sector by providing financial support and facilitating private investment.

The resource based industry has contributed to Albania’s economy for decades. Oil production began in Kuçova in early the 1900’s and soon after expanded into the Patos-Marinza oilfield. After falling out of diplomatic ties with Russia, Albania sought help from the Chinese who were able to provide financial and technical assistance until the late 1970’s.

Unfortunately oil and gas production significantly declined due to lack of maintenance, reduction in drilling activity, and lack of new technology.

There were attempts made to recover the industry throughout the 1990s but with little success due to product price and contract terms. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that redevelopment of the Patos-Marinza oilfield by Bankers Petroleum began to turn around the declining production and revive this sector of Albania’s economy. Bankers accounted for almost 6% of the total Albanian GDP, and 35% of the FDI in 2014.

Government

Albania is a Parliamentary Democracy with two main parties: Socialist and Democratic. Those parties can be described as slightly left and right of center respectively.  Elections are held every four years, and in the ten years that Bankers has been in operation, both parties have been in power. The most recent election was in 2013, which resulted in a change of the ruling party in the favour of the Socialist Party, led by Edi Rama as Prime Minister.

Within the Albanian government, there is also a president. The President of Republic is elected for five year terms with the ability to be re-elected once. Their role is to supervise the functioning of government. Bujar Nishani has been President since July 2012.

The Government of Albania is working hard to accelerate the country’s economic, social and political development through transparency, good governance, and application of new policies.