Industrial property protection through patents on the rise

Industrial property protection through patents on the rise

TIRANA, July 11- Patent registration as a form to protect the right of ownership has become more apparent year after year. The official records of the General Directorate of Industrial Property (GDIP) confirm that in 2018 the patent applications were

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Real estate agency business expands while construction booms

Real estate agency business expands while construction booms

TIRANA, July 10- The construction boom in the capital has been accompanied by an increase in the number of businesses operating as real estate agencies. Their number in 2018 was 847, an increase of 15 percent compared to the previous

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Cattle livestock is decreasing but agricultural production is growing

Cattle livestock is decreasing but agricultural production is growing

TIRANA, July 11- Although the number of cattle dropped in 2018, in paradox the number of agricultural and cattle by-products increased during the year. According to the data published by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the amount of milk

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IMF: fiscal performance to worsen

IMF: fiscal performance to worsen

TIRANA, July 10- In an analysis from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the fiscal performance outlook in Albania appears weak. The analysis predicted that budget revenues in relation to GDP will decrease during the 2019-2024 medium term. As the economy

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Kosovo threatens Albania again

Kosovo threatens Albania again

TIRANA, July 10- Albania and Kosovo are continuing to have fierce trade relations. The 10 euro toll tax that Albania imposed on the “Nation’s Road” is being described as a loot for the citizens of Kosovo. Muharrem Nitaj who is

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Albanian families face economic hardships

Albanian families face economic hardships

TIRANA, July 10- Almost one-third of Albanian households were unable to meet basic food and clothing needs during 2018, according to a poll conducted by the Balkan Barometer 2019 which is a project of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Albania

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Unemployment among university graduates increases

Unemployment among university graduates increases

TIRANA, July 10- Having completed higher education in Albania does not mean you are necessarily privileged to find a job. On the contrary, the number of unemployed professional graduates increased in 2018, though officially the unemployment rate fell sharply that

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Economy in Brief

Economy in Brief

Euro enters a downward trend again After a slight increase in the end of June, the euro depreciated again yesterday (10.07), when it was exchanged for 121.85 lek, about 0.03 points less than the day before, marking the eighth day

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Balkan trade war

Balkan trade war

TIRANA, July 10- The four states that lie in the Western Balkans are on the verge of a trade war. Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia, have set barriers to each other for business and goods. The most recent case

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Bank of Albania to monitor money laundering

Bank of Albania to monitor money laundering

TIRANA, July 8- The Bank of Albania is expected to strengthen the supervisory rules for banks and non-bank financial institutions to monitor shareholders and partners of banks and other financial institutions, while new control measures will be enforced for shareholders

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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- Patent registration as a form to protect the right of ownership has become more apparent year after year. The official records of the General Directorate of Industrial Property (GDIP) confirm that in 2018 the patent applications were 13.2 percent higher than a year earlier. Thus, the GDIP Patent Sector received 921 patent applications last year, compared to 813 applications filed in 2017.

Of these applications, 15 applications are national applications with Albanian citizen applicants, and 906 patent applications are patents issued by the European Patent Office seeking protection in Albania. One important element is the increased interest of European patent holders in registering them in our country. The number of European patents seeking protection in our country has doubled compared to 2015.

The same institution reports that in 2018 the patent sector issued 4710 administrative acts within the deadlines provided by law and patent regulation. “3338 patents have been renewed and 89 patents have been changed in the register,” the DPPI document writes.

The General Directorate of Industrial Property reported that the number of national and international applications for brands during 2018 has reached a number of 4171 applications. “There is generally a growing trend of brand applications, especially of Albanian applications. The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the source of trade or origin of products or services. During 2018, the GDIP received 1294 applications in total, compared to 1161 applications received in 2017, increasing their number by 10.3 percent,” is written in the document.

According to the GDIP, In 2018 the number of trademark applications has increased by 24.4 percent compared to 2017. Regarding the country of origin, it is noted that from the total number of national applications for brands in 2018, the United States, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia and Kosovo, have the largest number of national applications in the Republic of Albania.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 10- The construction boom in the capital has been accompanied by an increase in the number of businesses operating as real estate agencies. Their number in 2018 was 847, an increase of 15 percent compared to the previous year according to data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT). According to Moneyval, which assesses the high-risk real estate sector in terms of money laundering, only 8 percent of transactions go through real estate agencies.

In fact, the number of enterprises operating in real estate has been growing steadily since 2013. Since then, their number has increased by 86 percent. Their performance has been in proportion with the progress of building permits. According to INSTAT, a total of 245 building permits were approved for new buildings in the first quarter of 2019, out of 221 approved permits in the first quarter of 2018, marking an increase of 10.9 percent. The area of ​​building permits approved for new buildings, in the first quarter of 2019 is about 581,236 square meters, out of about 200,944 square meters approved in the first quarter of 2018, marking an increase of about 2.9 times.

Over the past two years the construction permits have increased markedly in the capital. During 2018 were granted permits with a total area of ​​940 thousand square meters, from 521 thousand the previous year, an increase of 80 percent. Only in the fourth quarter were granted permission for a construction area of ​​456 thousand square meters, or 70 percent of the total land area in the country for construction permits for this period. The high pace of the fourth quarter 2018 continued in January-March this year. Tirana as an economic and university center draws young people in the capital year after year, who mainly supply demand on the rental market.

Some of the major agencies in the country are concerned that the high number of real-estate agencies is having a negative impact. According to them, most do not have the experience in providing real estate services and evaluating the properties listed in the agency. Klajdi Memajdini who is a Sales Manager at the DevInf agency, explained that many new agencies to enrich the database set unrealistic prices to attract clients. This has brought a crash on the market, as owners receiving services from these agencies do not have accurate information about the market. This has also affected individuals who seek to buy because they do not receive the correct information about both the property they are buying and the entire procedure that accompanies the purchase. According to Memajdini, incorrect service delivery is ruining the image of individuals for agencies.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- Although the number of cattle dropped in 2018, in paradox the number of agricultural and cattle by-products increased during the year. According to the data published by the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the amount of milk collected increased by 5.87 percent compared to the previous year, reaching the amount of 139 thousand tons. During this period, the amount of cow's milk collected was about 120 thousand tons, marking an increase of 10.0 percent compared to 2017.

On the other hand, in 2018 the amount of sheep's milk is about 12 thousand tons, marking a decline of 10.52 percent compared to the previous year. The amount of milk collected from goats is about 6 thousand tonnes, marking a 22.95 percent decrease compared to 2017. In 2018, the amount of milk produced for consumption is about 14 thousand tons, up 7.26 percent compared to 2017. Compared to the total amount of milk produced in 2018, complete processed milk accounts for 77.1 percent , semi-skimmed milk amounted to 22.0 percent, crude milk 0.7 percent, and skimmed milk 0.2 percent.

According to INSTAT, the quantity of cow cheese produced has increased during 2018 was 11,400 tons, from 10,800 that were a year earlier. While the quantities of cheese produced from sheep and goat's milk have decreased. The volume of butter produced increased by 3.22 percent compared to 2017. Data on milk collection and its by-products are collected by INSTAT through statistical surveys at enterprises that collect and process milk in the country.

The number of cattle in 2018 was 467,318, down by 1.7 percent compared to 2017, INSTAT reports. The number of goats in 2018 was 1,863,837, marking a decrease of 3,2 percent compared to 2017. The main category of goats consists of dairy sheep with about 73.3 percent of the total herd. The number of goats in 2018 is 917,155 heads, an annual decline of about 1.7 percent compared to 2017. The main category is represented by dairy goats, with 97.5 percent of the total flock. In 2018, the number of pigs is 184,133, marking an annual growth of about 2.2 percent compared to 2017. The highest concentration of heads is in Lezha with 35.9 percent and in Shkodra with 27 percent to the total of all the livestock.

Large livestock farms in the country have entered a difficult survival cycle. Bankruptcies have increased, because their products are not competitive with the black market and imports. High base food costs, on the one hand, and high market informality on the other hand, derive farm produce at 35 percent higher than imports. Smaller farmers say they are no longer motivated to deal with livestock, as food for livestock is expensive, and the low-priced dairy sales do not help them cover the low-income costs they generate.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 10- In an analysis from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) the fiscal performance outlook in Albania appears weak. The analysis predicted that budget revenues in relation to GDP will decrease during the 2019-2024 medium term. As the economy of Albania is expected to grow by 4 percent over the medium term, tax revenues will not grow. 

In 2024 the budget revenues in percentage of GDP are expected to reach 26.9 from 27.6 percent at the end of 2018. During the decade 2015-2024, the peak of fiscal output was reached in 2017 with 27.7 percent of GDP, according to the IMF analysis. This year is expected to be closed with 27.2 percent of GDP, with a 0.4 percent drop compared to 2018.

The history of budget revenue performance has a clear link to the political mandates of government. After the 1997 riots, when the socialist government came to power, budget revenues saw the highest growth rate in relation to GDP, going from 26.6 percent in 1998 from 17.8 percent in 1997. Year 1999 marks the record as the GDP grew 27.8 percent, a performance which was not achieved in any other fiscal year. Subsequently, the revenue cycle continued to decline until 2005 when the political mandate of the government passed to the Democratic Party.

The Berisha government changed the fiscal policy by applying the flat tax. Budget revenues to GDP ratio increased in the first mandate from 25.4 percent of GDP to 26.9 percent in 2008. Government misconduct in the second term combined with the global economic crisis that also negatively affected Albania, made the budget revenues to fall to 24.2 percent of GDP in the last year of the election mandate in 2013.

With the return to the government of the Socialist Party in 2013 which applied a progressive tax that increased the fiscal burden on direct taxes, the revenues in relation to GDP grew reaching 27.7 percent in 2017. But during the second mandate of SP the revenue growth rates have dropped, although the economy is expected to grow by more than 4 percent. 

An empirical research on fiscal policy effects on the Albanian economy, by Meri Papavangjeli from the Research Department at the Bank of Albania, has found that a tax revenue shock has a higher effect on economic activity in the short run compared to government spending, while its effect extinguishes along longer horizons.

GDP and private consumption react positively to a blow to government spending and adversely to a blow on tax revenues. Capital expenditures and government purchases have a similar effect on GDP, but the effects of capital spending are more extended in time. Based on this, mid-term policies could minimize the adverse consequences of fiscal consolidation in economic growth, offsetting some current spending cuts with rising capital spending, the Bank of Albania's study suggests.

Albania remains the country with the highest tax burden in the region along with Serbia but fails to justify it with income. The country has never been able to have revenues higher than 28 percent of GDP, ranking the last in the region and among the lowest levels in Europe. Although with similar tax burdens, Serbia is expected to collect record revenues in the region at the level of 41.8 percent of GDP in 2019, according to official reports of the Ministry of Finance in the economic program of the 2018-2020 reforms. Montenegro is expected to collect 40.1 percent, and Macedonia has a 29 percent of GDP fiscal revenue, which has been declining in recent years as a result of flat tax.
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 10- Albania and Kosovo are continuing to have fierce trade relations. The 10 euro toll tax that Albania imposed on the “Nation's Road” is being described as a loot for the citizens of Kosovo. Muharrem Nitaj who is a member of the Kosovo Assembly has reacted to this tax a few days ago, while Kosovo’s Minister of Trade and Industry Endrit Shala, has warned that Kosovo will levy taxes on Albania.

After congratulating the increase in Albanian imported goods to Kosovo, deputy chairman of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo and member of the Assembly of Kosovo, Muharrem Nitaj, criticized Albania for the two-way ten euros tax that Kosovo citizens have to pay on the unfinished Nation’s Road, a toll price according Nitaj more expensive than fuel. 

Nitaj also wrote in his Facebook reaction that “This tax in Kosovo is seen as a loot, and it is good to reconsider, because if Kosovo starts to levy taxes, it remains uncertain what the score might be!” 

This reaction came after a statement made by the Albanian Ambassador to Kosovo Qemal Minxhozi, who said that the volume of exchanges between Albania and Kosovo is increasing. Minxhozi said that for the first quarter of this year Albania has exported 106 million euros worth of goods in Kosovo, a 30 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Kosovo has also increased its exports to Albania by 10 percent, as for the first six months of this year it has exported goods in the amount of 31 million euros.

“These are official data and are not data from different appetites .... I'm considering the total volume of exchanges between Albania and Kosovo, that's more accurate. It does not matter whether they are 800, 700 or 600, because there may be some of them, for example, that are fictitious ones who have not done an activity in Kosovo ten years ago and today are not in the documents are called economic organizations that function or are the same as those from Kosovo in Albania, I will not enter the figures of the companies, but I will say that the trend is on the rise, that is very important,” said Minxhozi in Kosovo media.
                    [post_title] => Kosovo threatens Albania again
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 10- Almost one-third of Albanian households were unable to meet basic food and clothing needs during 2018, according to a poll conducted by the Balkan Barometer 2019 which is a project of the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC). Albania has the highest percentage of households who can not afford basic living, nearly double the Balkans.

The Albanian family sample was asked whether they faced (at least once) over the past 12 months any problematics related to affording food, clothing, and other basic supplies. 31 percent of households admitted that at least once they were not able to afford and provide food, clothing, or other supplies during 2018. This percentage was almost twice Serbia's 17 percent, which ranks second after Albania for the high level of households that do not meet the basic living necessities.

The percentage is lower in the other countries in the region. In Kosovo and Montenegro only 14 percent of families claimed to have had difficulties to meet their basic needs over the past 12 months. The lowest level of families in poverty appears to have been in Bosnia and Herzegovina where only 8 percent of families have claimed difficulties for basic supply. Second ranks North Macedonia with 13 percent of families facing this difficulty.

The percentage of households that did not meet the basic needs increased further during 2018 compared to 2017, when 25 percent of households had claimed difficulties with basic necessities. Other data on consumer spending also show the sad reality where most Albanian households spend more on food than neighbouring countries, an indicator of low incomes compared to purchasing power.

In the Western Balkans most household spending goes to provide food. However, by making a comparison between them, food costs are much higher in Albania with over 44 percent of monthly expenditure, according to the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT). According to Eurostat data, after Albania in terms of food costs comes North Macedonia is the country where food expenditures are higher with about 36.8 percent of the total spending carried, followed by Kosovo with 34.1 percent.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro, food expenditures account for almost a quarter of total spending, with a weight of 24.5 percent and 24.3 percent respectively. Among the countries in the region, Serbia has the lowest share for this group with about 17.3 percent of the total, while EU’s average spending on food is about 12 percent.
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                    [post_date] => 2019-07-12 12:43:29
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                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 10- Having completed higher education in Albania does not mean you are necessarily privileged to find a job. On the contrary, the number of unemployed professional graduates increased in 2018, though officially the unemployment rate fell sharply that year. According to data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the unemployment rate for those who completed higher education was 14.2 percent in 2018, from 13.8 percent the previous year. Unemployment has increased in graduate women from 13.9 percent to 15.8 percent, while it has fallen in men from 13.7 percent to 12.1 percent. 

There are many unemployed graduates trying to open their private ventures by increasing the share of self-employment in this group. The trend of rising unemployment among higher education graduates has been in the opposite direction to the total unemployment rate in the country, down from 14.1 percent in 2017 to 12.8 percent in 2018. 

But 2018 seems to have been a good year for those with middle-school education. The unemployment rate for this group fell from 12.9 percent to 10.6 percent. There has also been a decline in unemployment among the working-age population who have graduated from high school, from 15.7 percent (in 2017) to 14.5 percent. In fact, the middle-school educated population turns out to be bolder in opening up a private activity, mainly in retail or in bar-restaurants. 

Other INSTAT data indicate that 43 percent of employees with middle-school education are self-employed. This weight, which is much higher than those with higher education, as only 13.5 percent of them have chosen to open a private activity, where men predominate over women. However, it seems that the inability to find a job has driven those with a university degree to turn their eyes on self-employment, which has grown by nearly 2 percentage points in 2018. This tendency has been evident in both sexes. 

This trend is confirmed by INSTAT data on the types of businesses according to which professional services are the ones being opened more in the last few years, while commercial entities and bar-cafés are closing down. Businesses that have recorded the highest increase in absolute value in 2019 are those in “Enterprise Management and Consulting Activities.” 186 new subjects of this category were opened in 2018, reaching a total of 793. Although their total number is low in relation to the traditional trade entrepreneurship of Albanians (where there are a total of 35 thousand entities), the business of chiefs and consultants has reached a record in 2018, as far as new market entry is concerned, with their number quadrupling compared to 2013. 

The trend of selecting a major in recent years turned out to have not been in line with labor market requirements, causing thousands of graduates to remain unemployed or get hired to activities irrelevant with their education. INSTAT data shows that the labor market is being filled with law and economics graduates, who are the two most preferred majors. Of the 139 thousand students enrolled in the 2018/2019 academic year, about 24 percent of them are in the field of “Business, Administration and Law,” 15 percent pursue “Healthcare and Wellbeing,” and the third is “Engineering, Production and construction” with 14 percent of the total number of registered students.
                    [post_title] => Unemployment among university graduates increases
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                    [post_date] => 2019-07-12 12:41:30
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 10:41:30
                    [post_content] => Euro enters a downward trend again

After a slight increase in the end of June, the euro depreciated again yesterday (10.07), when it was exchanged for 121.85 lek, about 0.03 points less than the day before, marking the eighth day on the fall. The euros is expected to hold a decreasing trend with the approaching of the VAT payment deadline on July 14, and the insurance payment on the 20th. According to market actors, the European currency will be weak against domestic currency on these dates. The expectations remain low also for August, when emigrants are expected to arrive for their annual holidays. The common currency has traditionally lost points against the Lek during August. The euro's depreciation in the domestic market was also affected by the weak performance it had on international markets where the euro is being traded at 1.12 dollars, from 1.14 dollars at the end of June, fluctuating around the lowest level in the last 12 months. The euro hit the lowest level of ten years in June when it was exchanged for 121.64 lek.

 

Low consumption affects low inflation

The increase in prices continued at low rates in June, with only 1.3 percent. Growth was driven by food prices which accounted for 70 percent of June's inflation. Market sources claim that low prices are a result of poor consumption on the one hand and abundant agricultural production on the other. The Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) reported today that the annual change in the consumer price index in June 2019 is 1.3 percent. A year ago this difference was 2.4 percent. Monthly change in the consumer price index in June 2019, compared to May 2019, is -0.3 percent.

 

Albanians optimistic for economy

Albanians generally expect the economy to go well in terms of the financial situation, economy and consumption. But the history of consumer confidence surveys by the Bank of Albania shows that expectations are generally more positive than reality. The Bank of Albania reported that in the second quarter of 2019, the consumer confidence indicator fell by 2.3 percentage points in the second quarter, halting the upward dynamics of the previous two quarters. The Bank argued that the downward trend in consumer confidence reflected the three downturns: the overall economic situation expected in the country by 4.6 percentage points, the expected financial situation of the household by 3.6 percentage points and the situation of income and expenditure by 1.0 percentage points.

 

Less businesses deal with research and development

In the field of Research and Development, Albania has consistently attained low scores compared to the region. Data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) showed that for 2018, research and development utilities fell to 41 units, down by 37 percent. Since 2013, research and development ventures have doubled, however in the last year their number fell. Our country's spending on this field is among the lowest in the world. Even the data published by Eurostat in Albania, the expenditures for this voice were only 0.03 percent of GDP, with an amount less than 500 million lek (4 million euros), out of which 110.5 million lek (900 thousand) went to the Albanian Academy of Sciences and 480 million lek (3.9 million euros) were funds that the Ministry of Education will use the research.

 

EU innovation project Horizon 2021-7 is ready

The European Commission is preparing the implementation of the upcoming Horizon Europe program, a well-known EU research and innovation program (2021-2027), with a proposed budget of 100 billion euros. The project, which is also directed to Albania, like the previous one will help shape European investment in research and investment in the coming years. Albania signed an agreement with the European Commission to participate in the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Research Framework Program (2014-2020) in 2014, that followed the previous FP7 program. The EU Research and Innovation Framework Program Horizon 2020 focuses on the relationship between business and the scientific research community.

 

EBRD launches green energy project 

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) signed an agreement that allocates 87 million euros from GCF funds to support the EBRD's sustainable urban growth program. This is the first fund from a total of 228 million euros planned to be invested in several cities around the world, including Tirana. GCF is the largest fund in the world to support the efforts of developing countries to respond to the challenge of climate change and is paying increasing attention to cities. Amongst the countries included in the project, Albania, Armenia, Georgia, Jordan, Moldova, Mongolia, North Macedonia, Serbia and Tunisia, have the right to receive support. This support comes through the Green City Action Plans with comprehensive urban sustainability plans targeting the most pressing cities challenges through investment and policy actions. The plan also includes grants and concessional funds for investments in sustainable infrastructure, technical support and capacity building, and also guidance for cities to enter green funding.

 

New project to give farmers access to innovation

The Albanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development with the support of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the EU funded IPESA project, organized for the first time the Forum on “Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System” (AKIS). “Within this project we believe that we will be able to make a transformation of Agricultural Extension Agencies as one of the main actors of AKIS in Albania. To further consolidate the development of this sector and to become increasingly competitive in international markets, we must provide farmers with access to Knowledge and Innovation Systems in Agriculture. We need to change the structure for further training of people working in these agencies and for a strategic action plan,” said Dhimo Kote who is deputy Agricultural Minister.
                    [post_title] => Economy in Brief
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                    [post_date] => 2019-07-10 14:18:45
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-10 12:18:45
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 10- The four states that lie in the Western Balkans are on the verge of a trade war. Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia and Serbia, have set barriers to each other for business and goods. The most recent case for the trade war is Macedonia which decided to block fish imported from Kosovo on June 1. Macedonia's action has sparked numerous reactions in Kosovo. The Kosovo Manufacturers Club (KMC) has reacted to the decision taken by North Macedonia to ban the import of fish from Kosovo.

The KMC has said that no part of the regulation shows the reasons for this prohibition. In response it is noted that Macedonia is now added to the list of CEFTA members that do not respect the free trade agreements with Kosovo after Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Albania. The KMC wrote that this decision directly damages local businesses that deal with fish farming, as North Macedonia has been one of the most important markets for selling live fish from Kosovo's producers. 

Kosovo exported 26 tons of live fish worth 95 thousands euro to North Macedonia during 2018. The export value was 23 thousand euros only in May 2019, which is several times higher than the previous months. The KMC has asked the Kosovo authorities to react and request the revision of this decision from Macedonia and to show the real reasons for the ban.

The Kosovo Chamber of Commerce also expressed its concern over the decision taken by the Republic of North Macedonia to ban the sale of fish from Kosovo. According to them, the concern arose by the member business “Trofta Istog,” as they were notified on this decision without prior notice. A tax of about 700 euros has been set for every entry of Kosovo live fish in Macedonia.

Kosovo's 100 percent tax on Serbian goods on the other hand, is continuing to bring stiff debates between the two states, making their relations even more acute. Officials from the two countries have announced massive measures. Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has stated that his country will take countermeasures on a meeting with Serbian representatives in Kosovo, immediately after Vidovdan's holiday held on the 28th. Vucic said he hopes no countermeasures are needed, but according to him Serbs will be forced to do so if no progress is made. 

Whereas Kosovo President Hashim Thaci, told the media that “we want once and for all to clarify our report as a state with the state of Serbia, which can only be achieved through a dialogue that will have clear deadlines, precise objectives, guarantees and international support, from the United States and the EU in the first place.” He stressed that unfortunately the situation and recent developments are not promising at all and things are not moving at all due to a lack of dialogue.

In the shops of northern Mitrovica there is a lack of many Serbian products, such as milk and its by-products, up to various types of detergents in Serbia. A document is circulating in the northern municipalities demanding citizens to not buy goods from the south and Albanians. The document is written in Cyrillic and carry the signature of the so-called “Association of Kosovo and Metohija Businessmen.” Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj stated earlier that Belgrade is planning to withdraw goods in order to cause a humanitarian catastrophe.

“It's all propaganda and there is no lack of food in the north. This is a plan of Serbia that aims to abolish the tax, otherwise every citizen of Kosovo has equal access to food and other things necessary for life,” said Endrit Shala who is Kosovo’s Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI).

Shala has also warned that Kosovo could levy taxes on Albania and Northern Macedonia as well, after a debate on the 100 percent tax effects on Serbia and Bosnia. He has mentioned that Kosovo producers have complaints about some taxes levied against them from Albania and North Macedonia.

“In two meetings with the Government of Albania we have asked for the removal of two taxes on Kosovo and not doing business in Kosovo. Even for Macedonia, we have concerns by Kosovar producers because recently the export of raw fish production was forbidden. MTI is ready to take certain measures against certain states depending on the demands of Kosovar producers,” Shala said.
                    [post_title] => Balkan trade war
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                    [post_date] => 2019-07-10 14:16:02
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-10 12:16:02
                    [post_content] => TIRANA, July 8- The Bank of Albania is expected to strengthen the supervisory rules for banks and non-bank financial institutions to monitor shareholders and partners of banks and other financial institutions, while new control measures will be enforced for shareholders applying for new licenses. In its latest meeting, the Bank of Albania announced that it adopted a regulatory package for implementing the Moneyval Expert Report recommendations on money laundering prevention and terrorist financing.

Through these changes, a greater emphasis is placed by the Bank of Albania on the ongoing monitoring process of shareholders or partners of banks and non-bank financial institutions as well as of the governing bodies of non-bank financial institutions and savings/loan associations. The package includes changes to regulations on licensing and performing activities by banks and branches of foreign banks in Albania, non-bank financial institutions, savings and loan associations and their unions, foreign exchange offices, as well as in the regulation “On risk management in the activity of non-bank financial institutions” in terms of preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Through this package, it is intended to meet the recommendations of the Moneyval Expert Committee within the framework of round V assessment for Albania.

The approved amendments consist mainly in strengthening the requirements of the Bank of Albania for financial entities applying to it for the license or for shareholders and for the entities licensed by the Bank of Albania during the process of changing influential participation and legal reorganization of them. At its recent meeting, the Bank adopted several regulatory acts under the inter-institutional plan for measures to reduce non-performing loans.

One of the main acts adopted was the regulation “On extrajudicial treatment of banks, borrowers in financial difficulties,” otherwise called “Tirana Approach” which was drafted in the framework of meeting the Bank of Albania commitments in the Inter-Institutional Plan of measures for the reduction of non-performing loans. This regulation was prepared in cooperation with World Bank experts (FinSAC project) and is the completion of a package of measures taken by the Bank of Albania to address non-performing loans in the country.

The regulation focuses on facilitating the financial recovery of long-term borrowers who have exposure to more than one bank and foresees setting up a common platform between banks to find a suitable solution for the borrower. The other change adopted in the regulation on credit risk management is the reduction of the depreciation period of loans lost by banks, and the strengthening of credit restructuring criteria by banks, taking into account the practices followed in European Union countries.
                    [post_title] => Bank of Albania to monitor money laundering
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            [post_author] => 338
            [post_date] => 2019-07-12 13:09:43
            [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 11:09:43
            [post_content] => TIRANA, July 11- Patent registration as a form to protect the right of ownership has become more apparent year after year. The official records of the General Directorate of Industrial Property (GDIP) confirm that in 2018 the patent applications were 13.2 percent higher than a year earlier. Thus, the GDIP Patent Sector received 921 patent applications last year, compared to 813 applications filed in 2017.

Of these applications, 15 applications are national applications with Albanian citizen applicants, and 906 patent applications are patents issued by the European Patent Office seeking protection in Albania. One important element is the increased interest of European patent holders in registering them in our country. The number of European patents seeking protection in our country has doubled compared to 2015.

The same institution reports that in 2018 the patent sector issued 4710 administrative acts within the deadlines provided by law and patent regulation. “3338 patents have been renewed and 89 patents have been changed in the register,” the DPPI document writes.

The General Directorate of Industrial Property reported that the number of national and international applications for brands during 2018 has reached a number of 4171 applications. “There is generally a growing trend of brand applications, especially of Albanian applications. The essential function of a trademark is to exclusively identify the source of trade or origin of products or services. During 2018, the GDIP received 1294 applications in total, compared to 1161 applications received in 2017, increasing their number by 10.3 percent,” is written in the document.

According to the GDIP, In 2018 the number of trademark applications has increased by 24.4 percent compared to 2017. Regarding the country of origin, it is noted that from the total number of national applications for brands in 2018, the United States, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Serbia and Kosovo, have the largest number of national applications in the Republic of Albania.
            [post_title] => Industrial property protection through patents on the rise
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