Albanian Economic Forum

In the lovely setting of the Albanian Embassy in London, 4th June 2019, members of the Albanian British Chamber of Commerce and Industry attended the Economic Forum.

His Excellency Mr Qirjako hosted the Forum aimed at, as he emphasised it, informing companies and investors on the potentials that Albania offers as such opportunities are gradually gaining international recognition and promoted.

The forum is one of the many events the Chamber is regularly organising mainly in London to bring together investors, companies already in the market or aiming to enter the Albanian region as well as for enterprises seeking to attract the appropriate skills and support. Following on the Business Round table organised on 9th May 2019, the Forum emphasised the potential that the energy sector has for development.

Mr Zenel Hoxha, President of the Albanian British Chamber of Commerce opened his address by offered a special thank you to H.E. the Ambassador of Albania Mr Qirko and to the staff of the Embassy for their great work they do every day to make the Embassy the first stop for any investor, citizens and initiative in strengthening the relations between the two countries.

Mr Hoxha offered a extensive view of how the investor perceives Albania and how in the reality they find the country. The work of the Chamber for many years allows us to acknowledge the progress made as well as to identify and address the issues which still need to be taken into consideration by the government in support of the economic progress and sustainability- said he. The Chamber has seen successes on bringing together companies and creating a healthy networking environment for the business community to do business to business and also to emphasise their concerns and issues. Mr Hoxha touched upon the potentials that Albania offers in the energy sector with Shell declaring great findings due to their drilling, TAP coming to operational soon and investment in agribusiness and processing. He also addressed the concerns of companies which point at the red tape they face. Naturally that the Chamber is a great vehicle for British, Albania and international companies to join and for us to give a voice to their concerns.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP presented their findings on the legislative frame work that Albania currently has and the areas that the secondary legislation needs to rapidly improve in order to support a healthy investment climate on the renewable energy sector. Addressing the participants Ms Chandni Ruparelia, Legal Director at Shakespeare Martineau LLP offered a professional view on the effects of the Feed In tariffs and the Contracts for Difference. The participants were interested to hear the detailed information on why investors are finding it difficult to navigate through the legislation and licencing procedures for the renewable energy. The expert view of Shakespeare Martineau LLP was that in the very near future, within six months or so, the Albanian Government will have to make further changes to the legislation which will help investors on such sector.

In his welcome speech the Ambassador of the Republic of Albania to the Court of St James, HE Mr Qirko provided detailed information on the progress that Albania has currently achieved in the area of Tourism, Energy sector and Agribusiness. His emphasised the important of regional cooperation and the joint aspiration of region to join the European Union. Such common goals are the ones which are bring us together more than divide us said Mr Qirko, while the legislation is been streamlined and unified for ease of doing business in the region.

The Forum then moved on to the presentation of companies which are seeking investment or partnership and that might be offering great opportunities for participants too. The potential emphasised were from the following member companies:

  • Blerimi Kosturr 2010, mining sector, investment in the region of 3 M Euro to 10 M Euro
  • Alumil AL, the potential to expand in UK with qualified and patent protected products
  • Malbertex representing the workwear industry and its growth in Albania, currently seeking to enter the UK with a local partner.
  • Mucaj Shpk- a member company which could triple its turnover is can partner with investment for drying, packaging and oil extraction from organic herbs, in the region of 2M Euro
  • Miell Tirana a leader of four production currently seeking to open a chair of bakery’s in London.
  • Sinani Shpk already in negotiations with a London based company aiming to provide them with wooden elements for their window and door production plant.
  • Alb-Soni Shpk a chrome ore and iron-nickel extracting company, seeking investment in the region of 10M Euro in order to develop their Iron-Nickel extraction.

Some of the companies which the Chamber is supporting and looking into finding the appropriate partners or investors.

The last presentation at the Forum was on current trend of Albanian exports and the ease of export from Albania to UK. We recognise that many potential exporters of Albania products and importers to UK do not take such step due to the perceived difficulty that they find on the export procedures.

The presentation brought data on the Albanian exports in general and on country by country bases. The focus was mainly in the agriculture products, as those are the ones that the importers to UK have difficulty with. The presentation touched on the legal frame work in Albania and how to easily follow them with the electronic self-declaration for customs too.  The presentation also brought information on the EU requirement, including UK, for such goods to be entered to the market.

The participants enjoyed a colourful lunch and networking opportunities. The Chamber is also thankful to Shakespeare Martineau LLP for their support in providing refreshments and lunch at the event.