TIRANA, September 3
Albania ranks 83rd among 131 economies featured in the annual Global Innovation Index (GII), 2020 released on Wednesday. Albania maintained the same position as in 2019 and 2018. The index defines the ranking of world economies based on their innovation capabilities. More specifically, it takes into consideration 80 indicators that are grouped into innovation inputs and outputs. According to the survey, Albania performed better in innovation inputs compared to innovation outputs in 2020. The countries featured in the survey are grouped into four types of economies. The GII by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) lists Albania among the upper middle-income group economies, where it ranks 28th among 37 countries.
Other findings from the report show that Albania has high scores in two out of the seven GII pillars: Institutions and Infrastructure, which are above average for the upper middle-income group. On the other hand, the country scores below average for its income group in five pillars: Human capital & research, Market sophistication, Business sophistication, Knowledge & technology outputs, and Creative outputs.
In terms of innovation strength the report points out the following indicators:
Ease of starting a business
Ease of resolving insolvency
GDP/unit of energy use
ISO 14001 environmental certificates/bn PPP$ GDP
Applied tariff rate, weighted avg., %
Firms offering formal training, %
FDI net inflows, % GDP
Cultural & creative services exports, % total trade
Printing & other media, % manufacturing
Generic top-level domains (TLDs)/th pop. 15–69
Meanwhile, the list of innovation weaknesses includes:
Expenditure on education, % GDP
Government funding/pupil, secondary, % GDP/cap
Research & development (R&D)
Global R&D companies, top 3, mn US$
QS University ranking, average score top 3
State of cluster development
High-tech imports, % total trade
Citable documents H-index
High- & medium-high-tech manufacturing, %
High-tech net exports, % total trade
Global brand value, top 5,000, % GDP
Compared to the other countries of the region, Albania’s innovation performance is lower compared to Montenegro 48th, Serbia 53rd, North Macedonia 57th, and Bosnia and Herzegovina 74th.
The top-performing countries are Switzerland, Sweden, the US, UK, and the Netherlands.
However, the report points out that the economies that made the most significant progress in the ranking are China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and India. What these countries have in common is the fact that for decades they have been top economies for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). The BPO sector offered these countries the opportunity to diversify away from reliance on other sectors such as tourism or agriculture while providing youth employment opportunities. The BPO industry provides a shift from simple call centers to innovation-driven higher-value services, such as finance and accounting, ICT, IT, legal, and even AI.
Reading suggestion: Why Outsourcing to Albania?
This is a potential sector that would help boost innovation in the Albanian economy. For many years, international BPO companies have been tapping into the young and cost-effective workforce that speaks many languages such as English, Italian, German, French, Spanish, etc.
Read more on Availability of Language Skills for BPO in Albania
Read also: Data Entry Outsourcing
Albania has Lowest Corporate Income Tax for ICT Companies among Western Balkan Countries
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