FIAA: The Italian Network company is called “a 360-degree consulting Firm” and it is present in the Albanian market for a long time. Could you tell us a bit more about the services of your company and your experience in Albania?
Mr. Laera: Italian Network is a consulting firm for internationalization, tax and labor consultancy, HR Management, which since 2006 has been promoting and offering a 360-degree service to foreign entrepreneurs who want to invest in Albania.
It is a bridge between the Balkans and Europe, having offices in Tirana in Albania and Bari in Italy.
We provide all the advice in the constitution of the company, in Albanian and international taxation, labor law, payroll, etc. necessary for the entrepreneur to evaluate the future investment and make it operational in a very short time.
We also provide for the research, selection and training of personnel with the company “Job in Albania”.
Part of our services is search for the best property for your office, your business or your stay in Albania through the other company of the group: “Albania Immobiliare”.
In partnership with “Albania Investimenti”, we provide advice on the establishment of Trusts and Trust Companies.
Italian Network provides all the necessary advice to foreign entrepreneurs to set up a business in Albania by promoting partnerships with local businesses and investments in the Land of Eagles.
Italian Network also specializes in obtaining residence permits for entrepreneurs, retirees, digital nomads and all other categories who are entitled to it.
We also provide for the tax exemption of the pension and the obtaining of the tax residence certificate for all Italian citizens, and facilitate the start-up of a company, allowing it to be operational in just 24 hours.
I am proud to announce that thanks to the values that distinguish us and the professional work carried out over these 16 years, this year we reached the Worldwide Financial Award as “International Consulting Firm of the Year 2022”, while last year we also reached the final of the prize as the best internationalization company of the “Le Fonti Award”.
I dedicate this result to all my collaborators and customers who work every day and confirm their trust in our services.
How do you find the interest of the Italian companies in Albania? Are there any specific industries and sectors which you find more attractive for growth?
Before starting to illustrate the investment opportunities in Albania and the Balkans, I would like to dispel some myths.
In Albania there is no petty crime, robbery, theft and extortion.
We see this in the data published by Numbeo on the Crime Index 2018, for which in the top ten places in Europe for crime, we find four Italian cities such as Naples, Catania, Turin and Rome, but also Norwegian cities, Paris, Marseille and Birmingham.
Tirana is only in 54th place.
In recent years, the GDP average is over 5% and 2020 stood at 4.1%.
The World Bank has forecasted GDP holding at 4% for the next 4 years.
With the growth of the GDP, there has been a constant and considerable growth in the volume of imports of goods and services, which has seen Italy as the first trading partner of Albania, as well as being the first country for investments, thanks to over 5000 companies with Italian capital present in the land of eagles.
Why invest in Albania?
- Great opening towards the European and global market
– Strategically positioned for access to markets in Europe and the Balkan region
– Located in the center of the natural crossroads of major corridors in Europe
– Entrance gate with 4 doors, Durres, Valona, Shengjin, Saranda
- Free Market
– The Albanian economy is now characterized by fully liberalized trade
– The most elastic of the economies of South-Eastern Europe, the only economy that has not gone through a period of recession
- Favorable environment, conditions and costs
– Tax benefits and incentives in strategic investment sectors
– Online system for tax filing and payments
– The Albanian business legal framework is in compliance with EU legislation
- One “Stop Shop” model
– Speed & transparency – granting of commercial licenses, from the National Licensing Center
– Registration of new business in 24 hours
- A variety of investment choices
– Rewards investment opportunities with public – private partnerships
– Rewards investment opportunities in areas with stability and sustainable growth sectors: * Renewable energy * Mining * Tourism * Agri-food * Transport and Logistics * Production * ICT services
- Legal Support
– No prior government authorization is required and all sectors are open to foreign investors
– No limitations or restrictions for foreign companies
– No limitation on the percentage of foreign participation in companies (even 100% foreign is possible)
– Special state protection for foreign investors; even in the case of a legal – civil conflict with third parties, including private ones
– Foreign investors have the right to expatriate all funds and contributions in kind of their Investment
- Skilled and highly creative workforce
– Knowledge of foreign languages
(English, Italian and Greek are widely spoken. French and German are included in the education system)
– 57% of the population is under 35 years old:
– More than 1,071,948 young, educated and motivated professionals
– About 116,292 students register annually at the university
- Low labor costs
– The lowest minimum wage in Europe (250 euros)
- FAVORABLE TAX SYSTEM
– Corporate tax rate from 0 to 15%
– Personal rate from 0 to 23%
– Favorable tax regime for strategic sectors
– Treaties to avoid double taxation in over 30 countries
– Albanian tax system non-discriminatory towards foreign investors and no distinction is made between foreign and national investors
- RAPID DEVELOPMENT of INFRASTRUCTURE
– New and fast improvement of infrastructures in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors
– Well developed and low-cost shipping services
– Quick and easy transport routes and direct delivery mechanisms to most EU countries
- RECOMMENDED TOURIST DESTINATION
– 2014 – from the New York Times; Albania is listed fourth out of 52 countries to visit.
– 2012 – Frommer tour guide; Albania is one of the important destinations.
– 2011 – Lonely Planet; The first of the 10 best places to visit
What are your impressions of the current business operating environment in Albania? What challenges are you facing?
To tell the truth, we are experiencing several problems with the e-albania system, especially in the registration of new companies and branches.
These operations that previously took a maximum of 72 hours have now extended to 20 days.
I hope these problems will be solved in a short time, because this is a burden of work and costs for us and a useless waste of time for the customer.
What do you consider as the biggest future challenges in Albania?
I hope that from the Government’s side, there will be strategies for attracting foreign strategic productive investments and a clear and sustainable fiscal policy. Unfortunately, the frequent change in tax legislation creates confusion for investors and for the consultants too, who are unable to plan strategies for attracting investors in the country.