AmCham Business index: biggest drop in confidence in 8 years

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 29, 2020 12:36

AmCham Business index: biggest drop in confidence in 8 years

TIRANA, June 29 - Confidence in the Albanian business climate has decreased significantly, dropping to its lowest point since 2012, according to the latest Business Index by the American Chamber of Commerce. Based on the report, almost all indicators declined in 2019, with only 4 out of 27 indicators improving slightly.

More than 66 percent of AmCham members perceived the business climate in Albania in 2019 as unfavorable or very unfavorable while only 7 percent consider the climate as positive and 26 percent as neutral. The respondents' perceptions on 'Internal Political Climate' and 'Order and Safety in the Country' continued to worsen also during 2019, by 7.68 points and 3.22 points, respectively.

The respondents' perception about 'Monopoly and Unfair Competition' 'Government Economic Reforms and Policy', 'Informal Economy Level', 'Government Bureaucracy' and 'Application of Laws and Regulations' also declined during 2019, while their perceptions for 'Overall Tax Level' remained stable.

The majority of respondents continued to have a positive, or neutral perception of their relation with tax authorities, customs authorities, and ministries. However, compared to previous year, this perception of the relation worsened for the Ministries and the Local Government. The perception for infrastructure and energy supply improved during 2019.

Although respondent AmCham members have continued to perceive a decrease in the 'Performance of the Albanian Economy' the majority of them, maintained or increased their investments and employment in 2019. For 38 percent of them it was still difficult to finance their activity during 2019, also noting that 'Banking Policies and Services' were unfavorable for 35 percent of them.

Enio Jaço, President of the AmCham, described the results of the index as concerning, adding that "if the trend continues, it may present real dangers to the economy."

"We should all fight hard to change these results, making Albania a fair and stimulating business environment. We encourage a rule-based system with clear market-oriented policies, where businesses compete on value and merits," he stated.

Former Democratic MP Jorida Tabaku from the conference organized by the American Chamber of Commerce after the accusations against the government said that the solution is the PD program with the 9 percent flat tax.

"We need to group those 18 taxes and levies into a flat tax to make space for the business and be their biggest partner. The flat tax can solve the problem of informality. Fiscal laws have changed 150 times in the last 7 years. The state is not maintained with fines, but with taxes," she said.

On the other hand, U.S. Ambassador to Albania Yuri Kim called on the government and the political class to cooperate and fight corruption, restore confidence in the Albanian people and improve the political climate in the country, as only in this way will they be able to attract investment and create better living standards for Albanians.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times June 29, 2020 12:36