TIRANA, February 18
The new country strategy on Albania 2020-2025 adopted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will focus on speeding up convergence to the European Union (EU) income levels.
According to EBRD, Albania must increase productivity and shift its growth model from consumption to investments and exports. These are crucial measures given the unfavorable demographic developments such as the migration rate during the last decades and especially youth emigration.
Moreover, the next top priority of the country strategy focuses on the business climate. The latter is essential in terms of economic diversification, competitiveness, and foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow particularly in sectors such as tourism, manufacturing, and agribusiness. Those would enable sustainable economic growth.
Based on the new strategy, low labor costs support competitiveness but the economy is held back by skills shortages and mismatches, uncertainty over land and property rights, lack of know-how and business sophistication, low investment in R&D, and weak innovation capacity. Other sectors that need improvements include the financial sector, infrastructure, waste management, circular economy investments, electricity generation and especially the need for energy diversification to mitigate exposure to climate change.
The Bank will pursue the following key priorities in Albania in 2020-2025:
Support governance improvements across the economy;
Enhance private sector competitiveness and inclusion through wider access to finance and skills;
Strengthen energy diversification and low-carbon transition.