Outsourcing to Albania

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Albania, an Emerging Destination for Offshore Outsourcing

If you are taking into consideration to outsource some services or parts of your business and have already created a strategy, Albania can be your flexible and cost-efficient Business Process Outsourcing solution. BPO is not a new sector in the Albanian economy.

The practice continued since in the first years of post-communism when foreign companies from the garment and footwear industries established their factories in Albania and employed thousands of people. The trend of outsourcing has increased mainly in fields of client and digital services such as call centers, web development, design and copywriting companies.

Albania is climbing as an outsourcing center in Europe and it is growing in popularity. The country is attracting European companies and businesses because of its affinity to Western Europe and several other crucial reasons that companies are looking for when they plan to implement a successful outsourcing program. Currently, Albania ranks among the emerging destinations in the global IT-BPO service delivery landscape.

The emerging Business Process Outsourcing industry in the country is displaying signs of future potential offshore outsourcing and aims at gaining prominence in the region. In order to achieve this, it relies on significant factors, while it pool size can compare to Bratislava in Slovakia, Krakow in Poland and it is larger compared to Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius. Based on the data provided by the Albanian Investment Council total industry size is estimated to be between $120mln and $140mln and the sector employees between 25,000 to 32,000 professionals.

Why Outsource to Albania

  1. The country’s strength lies on its capable multilingual and literate young workforce
  2. Albania’s economy is considered stable and ranks among the fastest-growing economies in the continent, Europe
    Investor-friendly
  3. Albania ranks among the top five least expensive countries in Europe
  4. Friendly visa and work permit rules
  5. One of the most economical nearshore BPO destinations
  6. Albania was granted the EU candidate status and is waiting to start EU accession negotiations and the import of services may not be a concern form clients form the EU member countries.
  7. Albania has a cultural affinity to Central and Eastern Europe.
  8. The American dollar and Euro are commonly used currencies in Albania
  9. Real Estate is about 40percent cheaper compared to the other countries of Eastern Europe
  10. It is a NATO member since April 2009
  11. SMAC ecosystem ready to satisfy needs of clients
  12. Major investments in infrastructure and transportation, new roads, two airports planned to be constructed in the south, major seaports on the Adriatic and Ionian seas.
  13. Well-educated population with about 160,000 annual university enrollment
  14. A stable banking system, mostly foreign-owned.
  15. Favorable labor costs and tax system

Being still a developing country with a fragile economic system based on the service sector and tourism, Albania offers low labor costs for companies that are interested in outsourcing their services. Also, the taxation system is very favorable given that the tax on profits is only 15%. The procedures for opening a business in Albania are very simple and at low cost.

16.  Strategic geographical location

Albania has a very strategic location. It is located in the heart of Balkans, in front of Italy and bordered by Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Montenegro. Flights to other European countries last no more than 3-5 hours and the country is currently opening the second airport in Kukes northern city, near to Kosovo.

Main Industries Served by Albania’s Outsourcing Sector

  • Banking, Financial Sector, and Insurance
  • Telecom, Media, and Entertainment
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceutics
  • Travel, Tourism, and Logistics
  • Energy and Utilities
  • Retail and E-Commerce

Number of employees in the BPO Industry

  • Ten percent work in companies with more than 100 seats.
  • 15 percent work in companies with 250-1,000 seats.
  • 30percent work in companies with 100-250 seats.
  • 45 percent work in companies with less than 100 seats.

The major outsourcing hub of the country is capital city Tirana, followed by Durres, Vlora, Shkodra, Elbasan, Fier, and Korca.

The major BPOs in Albania are:

  • Teleperformance
  • Alba contact
  • IDS
  • Localeyes
  • Albacall
  • Tregi Marketing Group

Market and future expectations

The current major client markets of Albania for BPO are Italy, Switzerland, and Germany.
Cooperation between the government and the private sector help in terms of infrastructure, skills, marketing and branding, and innovation are expected to have a positive impact on the PBO sector.

Data source: BPO Industry