20 years of AmCham: optimistic perspective ahead despite difficult context

TTimes
By TTimes October 13, 2020 11:18

20 years of AmCham: optimistic perspective ahead despite difficult context

TIRANA - On the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), its current head Enio Jaço, in an interview for Voice of America (VoA), reflects on the achievements, the current difficult conditions but also the good news out of last week that have opened new investment opportunities for the country. 

Jaco highlights the signing of the Memorandum for Economic Cooperation between the US and Albania which is expected to significantly improve bilateral exchanges and the level of investment. According to Jaco another opportunity window for Albania's benefit is opened with the projects’ package in the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia signed at the White House last month.

The year of the 20th anniversary corresponded with the fallout of the earthquake in Albania and most importantly with the pandemics, however the members of the Chamber of Commerce are again optimistic especially in the last months with new agreements being concluded. Enio Jaço, says that the AmCham has been successful in these two decades : it has been productive and well structured and it has had a clear vision in protecting the rights of its members and the business community in general.

“I think that it has given a high impact in protecting the market economy, the principles of market economy, has always denounced dishonest practices, has promoted transparent practices and has continuously influenced the improvement of the business climate in Albania

-  Enio Jaço told VoA.

The Memorandum of Economic Agreement between Albania and the US was signed last week by the undersecretary Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krac. Jaco evaluates this development as one of the most important since the 90s and a clear sign of the interest of the United States for the economy of Albania and the entire region. 

According to the head of AmCham, the project for building the Skavica HPP is very good news for albanian economy now that the bigg projects such as TAP and Devolli HPP are coming to an end. “ The construction of Skavica will offer business and employment opportunities for Albanian contractors including members of AmCham. Most importantly this project will enable a degree of energy independence for Albania and make it a leader in the region in this sector,” Jaço adds.

In this context, AmCham is strengthening its collaboration with international partners, most importantly with the American Chamber in Washington and the entire network of 109 american trade chambers in order to increase FDI. 

However Jaco expects improvements in the business climate to be a priority since problems persist such as monopolies and unfair competition which, in his view, deserve much more attention than given so far. Jaco believes the current business climate might be the key obstacle for reaching the full potential in the bilateral economic relations.

Additionally, AmCham is very optimistic about the prospects offered by the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. Enio Jaço believes the agreement will have a positive effect in Albania too since it mentions the construction of infrastructure connecting to ports in Albania. 

“This can turn Albania into a regional hub for trade with a much wider perspective. It will be the task of the government and the private sector to run this outstanding potential into reality - he concludes.

The American Chamber and its members represent a merger of companies with 38 thousand employees and a combined turnover of 21 percent of Albania's gross domestic product.

TTimes
By TTimes October 13, 2020 11:18