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.