TIRANA, July 19
“Albania has made some progress in terms of energy, transport and digital infrastructure development, but lack of productive know-how, low education levels and technology transfers hinder Albania’s competitiveness and integration into international value chains”. That is what the European Commission says about Albania’s economy on its latest report, published on Thursday, July 11, 2019 titled, ‘Progress towards meeting the Economic Criteria for EU Accession’, a review made for all the European countries who wish or are candidates towards the integration into EU.
According to the report, regarding the economic criteria, Albania has made some progress and is moderately prepared in developing a functioning market economy. Economic growth increased further and unemployment decreased but remains still high. Exports grew solidly and the current account deficit narrowed.
The high public debt-to-GDP ratio continued to decrease but the pace of fiscal consolidation remained slow. Banks continued to reduce the number of non-performing loans and the use of foreign currency. The banking sector remained stable, though business credit growth did not pick up. Steps towards developing the financial market have been taken. The business environment has improved only in some aspects.
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Also, progress in the implementation of comprehensive justice reform is expected to contribute to strengthening the business environment and attracting investments. Some progress was made on increasing labor market participation and the quality and effectiveness of labor market institutions and services, but the employment rate and labor market participation remain low, and the informal economy is still a significant job provider.
Albania has made some progress and has some level of preparation in terms of capacity to cope with competitive pressure and market forces within the Union. Exports and regional integration are below potential. Efforts to improve education and training show some results but reforms need to continue in particular to better address rural areas and vulnerable groups. “Albania’s capacity for research, development and innovation remained very low”-closes the report the European Commission.
Source and Photo Credit/ EC