Export value to Italy, Kosovo & Greece halves amid COVID-19

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 18, 2020 11:25

Export value to Italy, Kosovo & Greece halves amid COVID-19

TIRANA, April 18 - Albania's exports hit a record low in March, reflecting the difficult Covid-19 situation which has halted the a mjority of economic activity tin the country. According to INSTAT's latest report, in March 2020, exported goods were worth 18 billion lek in March 2020, declining by 36.2 percent, compared to the same period last year. Notably, exports values to Italy, Kosovo and Greece halved, marking the biggest decline compared to other countries

In March last year, Albania exported goods worth 22.5 million euros to Kosovo, while this year the value of exported goods was 12.8 million euros, or 43.1 percent less than the same period last year. Furthermore Albanian exports to Italy have decreased by 48.5 percent and exports to Greece decreased by 24.6 percent.

The drop of exports to Italy signals the difficult conditions under which both countries are working, as the latter remains to be the worst-hit country in Europe from the coronavirus pandemic. Albania is the country with the highest dependence on exports from a single country in the region, according to an earlier IMF report on GVCs. In turn, this makes Albania highly dependent on possible developments in the neighboring country, as Albanian factories work closely with Italy as regards the clothing industry.

In fact, INSTAT reported that the clothing industry has influenced the drop in exports the most, by a staggering 47 percent, followed by the construction industry which is still dealing with the post-earthquake effects.

As regards the third quarter, data shows that exports to Kosovo and Italy dropped during this period as well, by 17.3 percent and 18 percent, respectively. This may be attributed to the early COVID-19 measures which Italy imposed in February to contain the outbreak. On the other hand, exports to Spain continued its increasing trend during the third quarter, precisely by 55.4 percent, followed by Germany with 18.5 percent and Greece by 3.0 percent.

Last week the Chamber of Doing Business in Kosovo (OAK) asked the Albanian and Kosovo governments to facilitate mobility between businesses of the two countries, amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Chamber of Doing Business in Kosovo called for the trade facilities to be set up during this time of crisis for businesses both from Kosovo and Albania. According to the OAK, this is essential so that citizens are better supplied with all the necessary products, especially seeing as now is the peak period of seasonal agricultural products, where in Albania there is a surplus of these products, while in Kosovo there is high demand for them and vice versa.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times April 18, 2020 11:25