Economy in Brief

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 18, 2019 13:28

Economy in Brief

Cost of living in Albania gets more expensive

Albania ranks ninth out of 40 countries in Europe for the first six months of 2019, according to the Numbeo data portal. Albania’s living costs have become more expensive compared to the same period a year ago, and together with Montenegro are rated as the most expensive of the Western Balkans. The Living Cost Index by Numbeo is calculated by considering several categories that make up the main household economic expenses such as the rent index, living costs index, basic basket costs, price index in restaurants, and the domestic purchasing power index. But while living costs have increased in Albania, the index of domestic purchasing power has dropped. This index which measures the ability of Albanians to cope with their livelihood, has deteriorated during the first six months of 2019, where our country is ranked second in Europe after Moldova for the lowest domestic purchasing power.


Balkan businesses complain about taxes

The Balkan Barometer Report says that businesses from all Western Balkan economies mention tax regulation as the biggest obstacle to the success of their businesses. Neither Albanian businesses are excluded from this trend, but on the contrary, it is reported as the country where higher tax obstacles have resulted. As in the previous year, two-thirds of businesses in the  Albanian economy report fiscal burdens as issues which hinder the normal performance of their business. The minimum wage still represents a major concern for all economies, and the perceptions of minimum wage adjustments that have received contrastive courses in Albania are reported to be much higher this year at 39 percent compared to 16 percent in 2017.


52 thousand Albanians receive EU residence permits

These are first-time residence permits issued to Albanians in the EU countries in 2017, according to Eurostat data on people’s movement in member countries, where Albania ranked 14th in the world in terms of a high number of issued residence permits. Most of the first-time permits were given by Italy (19,565) and Greece (16,468). Germany issued over 6100 permits to Albanians during 2017. The United Kingdom follows suit with issuing 3273 permits, and then France with 1918 permits. Overall during 2017 were issued 3.1 million EU residence permits to non-EU citizens. Most of the residence permits were granted to people from Ukraine (21 percent), Syria (7 percent), China (6 percent), India and the United States (5 percent each).


Yura Corporation starts investment in Albania

The South Korean company Yura Corporation launched its 13 million euro investment, which will open a factory for the production of technological parts of cars, will employ 1100 persons, and will be invested in nearly 4.9 hectares of land in the Fier area. Lucas Nam who is the company’s representative in Albania, said the factory in Fier will produce cable equipment for the cars. As an advantage for Albania, he mentioned the fact that the country currently has low labor and production costs, and a generally improving stability. This can also be a solution to the development of logistics and a daily supply chain for European automotive business.


Open doors to foreign workers

According to a recent report, 43 percent of South Eastearn European (SEE) businesses are willing to hire workers from abroad, whereas 28 percent of them claimed they’d rather hire domestic workers. Albanian businesses for example are less willing to hire people from the Balkans. Only 33 percent of Albanian businesses would hire from neighboring countries, compared to 51 percent admitted by Serbians, 50 percent Bosniaks, 49 percent Macedonians, 46 percent Montenegrins and 44 percent Kosovars. Regarding nationality, Albanian businesses prefer to hire people from Montenegro, while Albanians themselves have the doors most open to be hired in Kosovo, then respectively less in Northern Macedonia, Bosnia, and in Serbia. Again, larger firms and exporters are more likely to employ people from other SEE economies. About half of SEE companies would hire a worker from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Northern Macedonia, while only 30 percent of companies would hire workers from Albania.


Ministry of Finance declares oil pumps concession winner

The Ministry of Finance and Economy has announced “Noa Control” as the winning company for the concession of oil pumps control, according to a notification at the Public Procurement Agency. In the competition which took place in October 2018 this company was only one participant, having previously submitted an unsolicited bid. The value of the investment is 70 million lek (573 thousand euros) and the concession contract was restricted to a 20-year term, from 35 years that “Noa Control” requested. The competition has been previously appealed in court because of legal controversies in the documentation.


Government returns hydropower projects

The National Territorial Council has approved five new construction permits for hydro power plants and has revised another existing one. In the last meeting held a few days ago were approved construction permits for hydropower plant Drita in the Gashi River in Tropoja, with subject company “Breçani – ROSP” (LLC) Gashi River. The slightly known river is considered as another gem of nature in the north of the country, and is part of the UNESCO’s Stronghold and World Heritage. Another permit that will make noise is for two new HPPs that go to the Urakë River Spill, the Shutri River Basin and Shutrejas water sources to the Urakë River in Mat. The developmental subject will be the concessionary company “ATEANI” (LLC). Uraka River was placed in the spotlight a few months ago after the ongoing protests by residents of the area who objected to the construction of two hydropower plants.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times July 18, 2019 13:28