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Meeting with EITI International Validation Team Experts

June 8, 2017
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Mining Industry issues

In the framework of the cooperation among FIAA Committee of Mining, Oil and Gas Members and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Albania, the FIAA Members have been very active in response to the implementation of the International EITI Standards in the country. Being part of the-Institutional Working Group, they have been part of the steering and co-coordinating structure for the EITI issues in Albania.

In this ambit, they met in early June with the Validation Team from EITI International Secretariat in Oslo, who visited Albania in order to monitor and review the EITI work in Albania. During the roundtable, the present businesses discussed about the better functioning of the Interagency Working Group (MSG) and the continuous improvement of Albanian Legislation in the focused sectors along with concrete results and impact of this process in all institutions, especially in mining industry areas, communities’ areas, relations with interest groups and civil society, etc.

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Transit –Tirana Farm Days

May 22, 2017
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EU Transit, Tirana Farm” is a Fancy Event hold on May 19th-20th, which aimed at the promotion of the Albanian products to the invited Entrepreneurs from European Enterprise Network and was organized under the care of the Municipality of Tirana and Ministry of Economy.

In the framework of the cooperation that FIAA has with Risi Albania Project, it has been given support to the Business Forum Session of this event along with the presentation of several successful business cases in agro processing sector.

During the two days event, there were presented the most successful business Models and the experiences the Entrepreneurs have had in Albania including their exchange of experiences, promotion of good ideas, success stories and promotion of Albania into the Entrepreneurship culture. This event combined various activities which created the opportunity to increase business networks and build new contacts.

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TAP Project holds a presentation at the FIAA First Business Networking Event

May 11, 2017
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In frame of the promotion of foreign investments in the country, FIAA organized a Business Networking Event which had in its focus the Project presentation of Trans Adriatic Pipeline – TAP. The Chairman of FIAA, Mr. Pedrazzi during his opening word expressed that: “I think FIAA, in fulfilling its mission has also the obligation to bring to public attention, the success of businesses and the achievements of its members. In TAP’s case, I should emphasize not only the grandeur of this work, but also the quality of this project, as the largest investment ever made in Albania, and also emphasize all the other positive effects on society, especially for local communities, through social investments made by TAP”.

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FIAA holds the General Assembly Elections

March 29, 2017
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FIAA holds the General Assembly Elections

In March 28th, FIAA hold the General Assembly Meeting of the Members and conducted election process for four new Board Members including the Appointment of the Chairman of FIAA for the next two years.

In his opening speech the President of FIAA, Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi highlighted some of the main achievements and challenges he had during his Chairmanship and emphasized the importance of the Organization as the best Instrument for the Foreign Investors in Albania. Mr. Pedrazzi did also thank the members for the support and trust given to his mandate and expressed his will to further continue his mission on representing FIAA as Chairman even for the next two years.

During the meeting, the Executive Director of FIAA, Mrs. Jazoj made the Annual Reporting on FIAA’s work and actions. In particular, she highlighted the role that the Business Environment Survey has on identification of the main business concerns and their proper follow up with the Law and Decision Makers.

On the other side, The Deputy Chairman of FIAA, Mr. Dietlof Mare stressed out the importance of a consistent follow up on the defined business concerns and intensification of communication with the Authorities. He also encouraged the Members for a better involvement and interaction in all FIAA initiatives and a higher involvement in the created sectorial Committees.

The Meeting continued further with a Reporting slide from the Chairs of FIAA Committees like: Energy Committee, Mining and Oil and Gas Committee, Integration Committee and the most recently created, the Tax and Financial Committee. All Committees’ Representatives made a short reporting on the work done during the last year and shared with the Members the upcoming objectives.

Meanwhile, Ms. JAZOJ presented the Members with a New Approach that FIAA should apply in its philosophy which was chosen by the various recommendations of the members themselves.

The Assembly of members continued with the voting process assuring the necessary quorum of members, and followed with the Candidates self presentation.

The voting process proceeded normally and the new elected Members in the Board of Directors of FIAA were:

Mr. Silvio PEDRAZZI, CEO of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank Albania
Mr. Patrick PASCAL, General Manager of Selenice Bitumi sh.a
Mr. Bozhidar TODOROV, CEO of First Investments Bank
Mr. Jean-Alain Jouan, CEO of ALEAT, SAFRAN Group

The Chairman of FIAA for the Next two Years was elected Mr. Silvio Pedrazzi who got the highest number of votes.

FIAA is a serious business organization that has built its integrity over 17 years. This organization is an independent institution that is not influenced by politics, but it is a reliable source of information and a very active lobbying instrument, offering unparalleled networking opportunities, and a good advocate to its members and to the business climate at large.

The evening concluded with cocktail celebration among FIAA members and guests.

 

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EBRD’s Board Directors Meet authorities, businesses and civil society organizations in Albania

March 29, 2017
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By end of March, the EBRD Board of Directors visited Albania and met government representatives, entrepreneurs and civil society organizations.

The purpose of the visit was to bring the Directors, up to date with the progress of transition, as well as to allow them to witness the impact of the Bank’s activities on this process and to become better acquainted with the domestic, foreign business and diplomatic communities in these countries.

To date, the EBRD has invested €1 billion in 77 projects in Albania. Infrastructure and energy are the largest sectors of EBRD investments, reflecting both the country’s most pressing needs and strongest potential.

Other EBRD priorities in Albania according to the current country strategy (2016-2019) include supporting private sector competitiveness, building on the strong entrepreneurial spirit in the economy, strengthening regional infrastructure linkages, enhancing the commercialization of state-owned enterprises and promoting sustainable energy and environmentally sound investments.

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FIAA Board meets USA Ambassador

March 28, 2017
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In late March 2017, the Executive Team of FIAA met with the Ambassador of USA in Tirana, Mr. Donald Lu. This meeting was in the course of other meetings FIAA is having with High Governmental, Internationals and Diplomats in Albania, mainly focused on the recent developments in the business environment of the country and exchange of views for related support. During the Meeting with Ambassador Lu, The Chairman of FIAA highlighted the main findings of the FIAA recent Survey and expressed his readiness for closer cooperation with the Embassy in particular for good implementation of the Justice Reform as one of the preconditions for a better business climate in the country. On the other side, Ambassador Lu thanked FIAA for the good job done and suggested for stronger cooperation between FIAA and American Businesses in Albania.

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FIAA participates in the World Bank Group Executive Directors’ Meeting, Highlighting Albania’s Future in Regional Power Exchange

March 27, 2017
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In late March, a group of Executive Directors, members of the Board of the World Bank Group, visited Albania with the purpose to assess the Bank Group’s engagement in the energy sector and efforts to support regional connectivity. Increasing regional cooperation and plans to improve connectivity within Western Balkans started in 2014 with support from the World Bank Group and the European Union.

During their visit, the WB Directors met with key Executives of the Albanian Government and discussed Albania’s progress and challenges in the energy sector and shared views on facilitating energy exchange through the establishment of organized electricity markets and the prospects for expanding regional integration. As well, it was discussed the impact of World Bank Group financed operations, like the Power Sector Recovery Program, on energy sector reforms within the Government’s broader structural reform agenda.

Part of the WB Executive Directors’ Agenda was a meeting with private sector’s representatives, where FIAA was represented by its Chairman, Mr. Pedrazzi. In the meeting it was discussed on challenges to a competitive and efficient energy sector and how the World Bank can assist in addressing these constraints.

The World Bank Group has a large lending and guarantee portfolio in Albania, including International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) financing of US$615 million, an International Finance Corporation Portfolio of US$187 million, including funds mobilized from its partners, and a Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency portfolio of US$214 million.

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FIAA Executives meet the European Journalists

March 1, 2017
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European Commission’s DG NEAR is a project implemented by Particp GmBh aiming to inform the public in EU member states about the progress that countries who are candidates and potential candidates for EU membership are making in fundamental areas, such as fight against corruption and organized crime, economic development etc.

FIAA Executive Director participated in a Business lunch with several journalists from different EU member states who visited Albania this February, in frame of promoting a better understanding of the EU’s enlargement process and offer insights into the key reforms in the candidate countries and potential candidates for future EU membership. The February’s study visit to Albania focused on economic governance and rule of law as key enablers for a conductive business environment and opportunities in the country.

Being one of the key organizations in the country, FIAA was picked as one of the main representatives of the business community in Albania expected to share views and perspectives with the EU Journalists. During her presentation, Mrs. Jazoj made a broader picture of Albanian potentials and challenges providing also information into a broader perspective for the investment opportunities and areas where work should go on.

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FIAA participates in CCW FAIR in Berlin

February 28, 2017
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Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is emerging as a new industry in Albania with a good potential on attracting big corporates around the world, seeking for countries with low cost of labour. This sector is recently under the attention of the Albanian Government too, aiming to turn it as a sector with high potential in particular for the youth employment.

In February 20th-23rd, 2017, FIAA together with AIDA and Albanian Outsourcing Association participated with a Promotional stand in CCW Fair Berlin. This participation was enabled with the support of Swiss Embassy in Tirana through the Project RisiAlbania. The entire Team has been continuously consulted by Avasant Experts who are appointed by RisiAlbania to support the BPO Sector and the Organizations who work with it. The presentation of FIAA in CCW Berlin was very important not only for the gained Networks, but also for learning new models in this industry which is in the early stages in Albania.

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FIAA presents the Findings of the Business Environment Survey 2016

February 16, 2017
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In February 15th, FIAA presented the findings of the 2016 Business Environment Survey and Perceptions of Business for 2017. Foreign Investors, International Institutions, High Diplomats and other Stakeholders in Albania were invited to learn on the findings and to hear the different perspectives shared by the FIAA Executives, by the Ambassador of EU Delegation in Albania and by the Minister of Finance.

The main findings of the Survey showed that this study was conducted with the participation of the major foreign companies operating in our country, summarizing their perceptions and attitudes towards the different elements of the business climate such as, tax procedures, business confidence, competition, judiciary, etc. According to the survey, the overall business confidence of investors didn’t show any improvement compared to the previous year, however, the majority of businesses say that their business activity for 2016 has increased despite the not good perception of business climate in general.

The main problems identified by business are: the judicial system, corruption, the Administrative Courts efficiency, and the constant change of the law on tax procedures.

During his word, Mr Pedrazzi, Chairman of FIAA highlighted some of the key concerns resulted from the survey and expressed his opinion on the findings mentioning the importance of the investment climate quality in the Investing world and the necessity of continuation of all the taken reforms in order to achieve the needed results. Mr. Pedrazzi confirmed that to solving the above problems, The Authorities have taken some important steps, but still the problem remains in their implementation. The FIAA expectation level is high, even higher than in previous years because the competition is getting tougher- he concluded.

On the other hand, The Head of the Delegation of European Union in Tirana, Ambassador Romana Vlahutin, stated that “Just like any other large segment of a society, business community needs to have trust in institutions, needs stability and predictability.  This is a societal reform. This is an economic reform. A fair, independent and accountable justice system is not only fundamental to the functioning of democracy; it is the prerequisite of a functioning market economy”.

The Economic Reform Program 2017-2019 that Albania just submitted to the European Commission, includes concrete measures that go into the right direction: strengthening business environment, improving labour market conditions and developing sectors such as agriculture, tourism, energy or transport. Working towards a healthy economy should be our joint effort, because is no division between the economic and the political – they are interrelated and interdependent – underlined the EU Diplomat.

The Minister of Finance, Mr Arben Ahmetaj, who was present in this activity, said that the survey results clearly show that the Justice Reform implementation is the main concern of foreign investors. Mr. Ahmetaj interpreted the results as a message for the Government indicating the expectations that business have to a government that is reforming the economy, politics, institutions and themselves.

The Minister expressed his readiness on continuing dialogue with foreign businesses which is a key element in the country’s economy

The main focus of the FIAA survey is to gather information and opinions on the reality of the business climate in the country. The conclusions and results of the survey will help FIAA-n identify the problems and challenges facing investors, which need to be addressed for government policies in order to improve the business environment in the country.

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