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TIRANA (Albania), November 24 (SeeNews) – Albania lacks a number of key components of a friendly business environment for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), the European Commission (EC) said.
The introduction of the entrepreneurship in the school curriculum, setting up regulatory impact assessment procedures, developing alternative sources of finance, and improving bankruptcy procedures for SMEs, especially with regard to the issue of non-performing loans, are some of the SME policy priorities missing in Albania, the EC said in a report reviewing the performance of SMEs in EU member states and several candidate countries.
In recent years, Albania has put in place some core components of the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), including a one-stop shop for online start-up procedures and an e-procurement portal, according to the report published on Wednesday.
The Commission also noted that the implementation of the Business Investment and Development Strategy for 2014-2020, adopted in spring 2014, is progressing well.
The most significant improvement of Albanian SMEs in recent years was registered in 2015 with employment increasing by 18.7 % due to a 20% rise in the number of SMEs compared to 2014, according to the report.
The expected improvements in investments, net exports and consumer spending in Albania should contribute to real GDP growth, the Commission said.
Albania's economic expansion is forecast at 2% to 4% between 2015 and 2017, with SMEs expected to play a key role in economic growth, the EU executive body added.