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Unfair competition, corruption deter foreign investors in Albania - FIAA

Unfair competition, corruption deter foreign investors in Albania - FIAA Skanderbeg square, Tirana, Albania

TIRANA (Albania), June 10 (SeeNews) – Monopolies and unfair competition, corruption, government bureaucracies and informal economy are the main obstacles identified by foreign investors, the Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA) has said.

The business climate situation evaluated by foreign investors since the start of the year is mostly unfavourable, FIAA said in its 2019 business environment survey on Friday. The poll takes into account the opinion of the FIAA members - around 80 enterprises with foreign capital operating in Albania.  

Foreign enterprises were asked to rate the business climate situation from 0 to 100, where zero is unfavourable and 100 very favourable. The average result of the survey was 39.

Expectations are a little more positive for the second half of the year, with the index expected to rise to 45, but still below 50.

The political climate was ranked as the worst deteriorating indicator followed by transparency in governmental procedures, order and security, and the public procurement system and procedures, whereas the banking system policies and access to finance have marked the greatest improvement.

In May, international business associations operating in Albania strongly urged the government and opposition to act responsibly and make every effort to end the recent political impasse that is hampering investment.

“We call on all political parties to find a solution to this situation. Each day that passes without resolution erodes the confidence of citizens in our political system and economy, while deterring potential international investment,” the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Albania, the FIAA, the German association of industry and trade in Albania (DIHA) and the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) said in a joint statement at the time.

“Many of our members have expressed frustration with the political uncertainty that is negatively affecting Albania’s business environment and economy,” the organisations added.

The opposition lawmakers gave up their seats in parliament in February, refusing dialogue with prime minister Edi Rama and calling instead for a transitional government without Rama that would be tasked with preparing early elections.

The opposition has organized several protest rallies since the middle of February, accusing the government of corruption and electoral fraud and demanding snap elections.

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