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Mr. Xavier Mulliez – CEO of Voltalia in Albania

March 16, 2021
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“We will bring to Albania the most advanced technologies available in the solar industry”.

 

FIAA: Voltalia chose to enter the Albanian Energy Renewable market in 2020. Could you tell us why in the Photovoltaic Energy? 

Mr. Mulliez: Photovoltaic is the cheapest way to produce electricity in the world and it happens that Voltalia is doing business in the renewable energy, which includes solar photovoltaic (and also wind, storage, biomass and hydro).

As Voltalia has entered the Albanian market during a very unusual year (2020), what were/are the difficulties you faced during this first year? What are the most significant project challenges that you have to overcome?

It was indeed dramatic for many people around the world, and we are confident that the vaccine will be deployed efficiently in order for people to recover their lifestyle, hopefully in a more transitioned. Getting back to Voltalia, for us, it was actually a year of great achievements where we managed to secure a triple 1 000. We reached a 1000 MW of installed capacity worldwide, 1000 MW of long term power sales contracts in 2020 alone and the total staff also surpassed 1000 co-workers. Particularly in Albania, we were awarded the Karavasta Solar project, a power plant of 140 MW that will harness the sun and convert it into the cheapest electricity available for the Albanians at 24.89 EUR per MWh. This is the result of a strong commitment from all and a good team-spirit despite the home-office. We were able to meet all requirements while administrations and offices were under lockdown and we are very proud to be in Albania today.

You are new in Albania, which are your impressions of the current business environment in our country? What challenges are you facing? 

With the Karavasta tender, Albania has shown once more that it was ready to welcome foreign investors. I have no doubt that the solar photovoltaic industry as well as the upcoming wind projects will continue to attract European and American companies in the country while the new power market unfolds. It’s an evidence to me. As far as other sectors are concerned, I see a lot of potential everywhere: ecotourism, agroforestry, education, health care and IT, just to name a few.

What improvements in your business operating environment do you feel are critical to attract more foreign investment in Albania?

Well, we have a policy to work with local companies each time it is possible and that’s exactly what we have been doing. On the other hand we will bring to Albania the most advanced technologies available in the solar industry. In the end, the Karavasta solar plant will be handed over to the Albanian government at the end of the concession and we must select the most long lasting equipment. Having said that and to answer your question more clearly, it is important for the successful unbundling of the Albanian power sector and the successful implementation of the new regulatory framework that the government observes the European Standards. The European standards in the electrical sector have proven to attract large investments in the EU where large player are now thriving. So why shouldn’t it be the case in Albania?

What are your investment plans for the next 2-3 years? 

My program for the 2-3 coming years is to effectively commission the Karavasta solar photovoltaic plant in time, budget and performance. In Albania, we are also working on additional opportunities, on which we adopted the exact same strategy as for Karavasta. Personally, I will also invest my time in recruiting and consolidating the local team at Voltalia Albanie, settled our corporate culture in accordance with Voltalia way of doing business and etc. That being said, we are recruiting! Our Concession agreement goes until 2053, so the 2-3 first years are key to the long term establishment.

 

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Tirana Economic Forum III Edition

March 12, 2021
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Tirana Economic Forum III, where FIAA for the third consecutive year is a Local Partner, is a business event that took place on March 12th, 2021, organized in the Digital platform due to the pandemic.

Τhe Tirana Economic Forum over the past years has developed into a high-level meeting of the most influential Albanian and international political, corporate, and intellectual leaders, addressing pressing challenges currently facing Albania and the Region.

Representatives from the Albanian intellectual elite as well as key stakeholders, policy-makers and thought leaders from Europe, participated in the Tirana Economic Forum III, addressing issues that concern Albania and the Region, mostly in the post covid-19 era.

Among the Speakers in the Session Albania’s Economic recovery post pandemic was also FIAA’s Chairman Dr. Alvensleben.

For more information on the Forum please visit: www.tiranaforum.com

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Official Request to Minister of Finance for the extension of the deadline for declaring the Registering of the Beneficiary Owners

March 5, 2021
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FIAA jointly with other Chambers and Business Organizations in Albania have discussed and prepared an official request to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Denaj, asking for an extension of the deadline for declaring the data of the beneficiary owners from 31st of March 2021 to 30th of June, 2021.

The Joint Action of Business Organizations through this letter conveys to the Minister the concern over the new obligations arising in the framework of the implementation of Law no. 112/2020 “On the Registering of Beneficiary Owners”.

The Ministry of Finance has issued this new legal obligation born in the framework of the implementation of Law no. 112/2020 “On Registering of Beneficiary Owners”, with a deadline within 31st of March 2021, to be applied from business.

But, as the Foreign Business Organizations, represent companies from other countries, it appeared that among businesses have been encountered problems to prepare all the necessary documents required on time. In this ambit, FIAA is following closely the reaction of the Ministry towards this raised issue.

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FIAA meeting with IMF experts

March 3, 2021
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In the framework of FIAA cooperation with the IMF on monitoring and supporting Albanian business climate, in early March it was organized a meeting with IMF experts from Washington. In this meeting FIAA was represented by its Chairman, Dr. Constantin von Alvensleben, the Country Director of Deloitte Albania Mr. Maksim Caslli and the Executive Director of FIAA Ms. Marinela Jazoj.

The main topics discussed in the meeting were related to the current business environment, tax system and necessary reforms in Albania, the pandemic impact, as well as the continuity of the weakness of the Euro currency in the country. This meeting came also as a follow up of the FIAA Manifest points that were presented earlier to the Albanian leaders and the attention they should give.

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Mr. Mario Scarfalloto – Plant Manager of SEWS-CABIND Albania shpk

February 22, 2021
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“Part of our Mission is to act as a Start-Up for all other companies and investors to build a solid automotive environment in Albania.”

 

FIAA: SEWS-CABIND Group has recently entered the Albanian market. Could you tell us about the mission and operations of this company as well as the interest on the Albanian market?

Mr. Scarfalloto: SEI and SEWS-CABIND Group evaluated the possibility of expansion of the company in Albania from many years, many investigations have been done from our Group CFO Mr. Blanco and our Group CEO Mr. Ishii before to take final decision to move here. In fact, it is necessary to consider that before us, very few automotive companies entered in Albania territory and not in the same Group level like SEI, in terms of dimension and business.

At today, SCA is representing for SEI a big challenge from one side and powerful success from other side.

The main mission is to have a Plant with Sumitomo standard in a country where automotive business never was before and have a group of Albanian people (managers and all other levels) that can grow inside the company and be able in the future, not only continue the managing of company but also teach to future generation the Sumitomo spirit and production technologies.

The interest for Albania came not only from the economic aspect, but also from logistic perspective because of geographical position; position that represents for SEWS CA a real advantage considering that our customer is situated in Italy and reachable in 1 day of transport by ship.

Important to mention is also the common culture with Italy and knowledge of language.

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Manufacturing Industry Meeting

February 12, 2021
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In the ambit of targeted industrial talks with members, FIAA held an interesting meeting with representatives from the manufacturing industry that remains a key evolving industry in the country, as this industry is boosting exports and fostering economic growth.

The meeting held on February 11th was very fruitful as it brought more insights from the perspective of this industry, sharing the experiences during the pandemic, discussing the key challenges that the industry is dealing with and hearing recommendations on how to further support this important industry!

Despite the pandemic difficulties, which have affected all businesses, these businesses have been performing good. They have found new channels and ways to keep their operations ongoing, and most importantly to maintain their staff at work and perform efficiently.

Present in the meeting was also FIAA’s Chairman Dr. Alvensleben that encouraged them on sharing concerns and recommendations which will be further addressed to the respective tables and authorities properly.

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Meeting with World Bank team for the project on Developing Competiveness Policies

February 10, 2021
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The Independent Assessment Team (IEG) at the World Bank organized a meeting to assess the impact of the project on Developing Competitiveness Policies. The team discussed with the groups that contributed to the implementation of the project (government representatives, international partners, civil society, etc.), getting their opinion on achievement of the project objectives, what worked and what could work with well  otherwise, to draw conclusions and recommendations that might help preparing similar future projects.

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FIAA Manifest to main Political Parties in Albania

February 5, 2021
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FIAA strongly believes that the improvement of the Business Climate in Albania remains fundamental.

As Albania has entered in the electoral period and the political Parties have prepared their economic programs, FIAA strongly believe that these Parties must give focus to the business climate signals and alerts.

In this ambit, at the initiative of the Board of Directors of FIAA and in close consultation with its Committees, FIAA has prepared a Manifest which addresses the Challenges for bringing Albania’s economy forward in the next four years.

FIAA is convinced that these challenges remain crucial to the improvement of the business climate and is appealing for the attention of the main Political Leaders and not only. FIAA believes that the need to stimulate growth, to attract foreign investors and fit for EU accession is more than urgent.

For more details download here FIAA Manifest. 

 

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FIAA’s President and Executive Director meet with Diplomats in Albania

February 2, 2021
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In the framework of the communications that FIAA keeps with Diplomatic Bodies in Albania, early this year FIAA’s President Dr. Alvensleben and Executive Director Ms. Jazoj have meet with two Diplomats in Albania, respectively H.E Mr. MITSUYUKI, Ambassador of Japan to Albania and H.E Mr. GENDLER, Ambassador of Israel to Albania.

The main purpose of the meetings was exchanging views on the business climate, impacts of the pandemic and current business and political situation in Albania, as well as opportunities for strengthening cooperation.

FIAA shall continue meetings with other diplomats in the coming months and assist potential foreign investors interested on the Albanian market.

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Public Consultation “Open Government Partnership Action Plan for Albania 2020-2022”

February 1, 2021
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The Open Government Partnership (OGP) aims to improve governance through government–civil society collaboration to develop reforms that promote transparency, public accountability and civic participation. From July 2020 until now, the Albanian government has worked with public institutions and members of civil society organizations (CSOs) during 14 stakeholder consultations to draft a set of ten reform commitments for inclusion in Albania’s 2020-2022 OGP Action Plan. All citizens & civil society organizations have been invited to provide feedback on the draft.

For more information, please follow the link:  https://www.konsultimipublik.gov.al/Konsultime/Detaje/318

 

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