In Albania we focus on:
Promoting Sustainable Energy Policies and Environmentally Sound Investments. The EBRD will work closely with the Albanian authorities and the independent regulators to enhance the regulatory and administrative framework for private sector investments, particularly in the renewable energy sector. The EBRD, through its dedicated facilities, will finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and, in cooperation with other IFIs and commercial banks, will support the upgrading and financial viability of energy generation and distribution. Interconnection lines and gas pipeline will also be of key importance for improving competitiveness and regional integration.
Enhancing commercialisation, competition and private sector involvement in infrastructure, alongside targeted public projects. We will assist the Albanian authorities, both at the national and local level, to increase private sector involvement in transport and municipal services, including in road maintenance. Financial assistance will be complemented by technical advice, capitalizing on the EBRD's experience to successfully structure and implement PPP and concession financing. We will also work closely with the Government on advancing transition in the seaport and railways sectors.
Supporting the development of a more competitive private sector. The EBRD will continue to be a strong partner for foreign investors and for local corporates, both directly and through the Local Enterprise Facility (LEF). We will pursue an active investment policy in sectors such as agribusiness, manufacturing and services, ITC and tourism, all of which have the potential to modernise and increase value creation in the Albanian economy, which is still too reliant on imports and labour-intensive textile subcontracting.
Strengthening the financial sector and deepening intermediation. The EBRD will support the banking system in a difficult market environment with credit lines and other facilities such as the Medium Size Co-Financing Facility (MCFF). The EBRD, through a close consultation with the Bank of Albania, will respond in a timely way to emerging needs of the local financial sector.
As well as being a country where the EBRD works, Albania is also an EBRD donor. It contributes a total of €36 million in grant funding for first-loss risk cover as part of the EBRD €100 million Albanian Agribusiness Support Facility. The Facility was approved in 2015 to promote and enhance access to finance for agribusinesses in Albania.
The EBRD’s latest Albania strategy was adopted on 13 January 2016
EBRD forecast for Albania’s Real GDP Growth in 2016 3.3%
EBRD forecast for Albania's Real GDP Growth in 2017 3.5%
In Albania, GDP growth in 2015 was 2.8 per cent, an improvement of one percentage point compared to 2014. This increase in growth was mainly driven by investment as well as net exports to some extent. Growth continued in the first half of 2016 at 3.1 per cent year-on-year. The expansionary monetary policy of the central bank has brought the policy rate to a historic low of 1.25 per cent which has led to the lowering of interest rates.
Government spending has been relatively contained in recent years and is expected to remain so as the government pursues a prudent fiscal policy in line with the aims of the IMF programme. The 2016 budget aims for a primary surplus of 0.3 per cent of GDP. The growth momentum is expected to be sustained in the short term, with GDP growth expected to rise to 3.3 per cent in 2016, with a further increase to 3.5 per cent in 2017. We expect growth to remain mainly investment-driven as TAP construction enters its full extent in 2016-2017 with a total investment of about 1.5 per cent of GDP per year in each of these two years.