“We want to strengthen the role of the ombudsman for all entrepreneurs operating in our country”.
FIAA: What are your objectives and priorities as Minister of Entrepreneurship, a newly created Institution in Albania?
Mrs. Qato: The mission of the Minister of State for the Protection of Entrepreneurship consists in the reduction of the existing gap between entrepreneurship and the public administration, by influencing in the creation of an adequate environment so that enterprises can work at their best capacities and increase their profit.
My role as a government ombudsman will result in the direct solution of the addressed complaints by various entrepreneurs. However, above all, my office will work for the removal of those administrative and corruptive barriers for which the government has already launched a deep reform of deregulation and we also plan on restructuring the inspectorates and government agencies that co-operate with enterprises.
In case of problems or miscommunication, our office mediates between any central or local institution in the country and the entrepreneur that claims an injustice. By defending the interest of enterprises through technical and legal advice, we aim at promoting the synergy of all parties and the interaction between business and government.
Are you planning any new initiatives to be implemented to meet your objectives?
We want to strengthen the role of the ombudsman of entrepreneurship through the legal initiative to establish two mechanisms that I consider to be highly important for all entrepreneurs operating in our country.
Firstly we have already sent to the government our request to transfer the responsibility for the organization and functioning of the National Economic Council and the technical secretariat under the direct responsibility of the Minister of State for the Protection of Entrepreneurship.
We want to reorganize the country’s highest economic council as a discussion forum, in which experts and policy makers can create a constructive debate and review legal proposals affecting the economy and the entrepreneurial environment, in order to increase the role of entrepreneurship in the regulation of the environment legal rights in each of the areas where they operate.
Secondly, we aim the construction of a new mechanism for the mediation of conflicts stemming from violations of the conditions of public contracts. Our mediation will be above all parties and will serve as an instrument for assessing contractual terms and conditions in order to avoid a litigation process for settling contractual disputes.
What measures are you expecting to take to improve the environment for foreign investors in Albania? What more do you think can be done to improve business conditions?
Improving business conditions in the country is a major challenge and a big responsibility of the entire government and the Office of the Minister of State for Enterprise Protection undoubtedly has a very important role for governmental coordination. We plan to regulate the environment of doing business by creating enough space for a competitive economy without barriers and bureaucratic delays, positive fiscal policies that have an impact on the growth of the country’s economy, by providing security to any foreign or domestic investor who wants to invest or re-invest their capitals in our country.
We are continuing our communication with many local and foreign investors who require our intervention to solve their problems. First of all we are pursuing step by step in each and every way the problems presented by the subjects in order to understand where the main issues lie, what is the most recurrent problem that harms entrepreneurship in Albania. Recently, in full cooperation with the entrepreneurs and their stakeholders, we introduced to the government the first package from the venture with suggestions and correction proposals, which will affect the business climate in the country.
What would be your message to the whole Business Community in Albania for a strong bilateral Partnership?
I invite all the investors operating in our country, whether foreign or domestic, to have trust in us and contact us for every problem that they may have. My staff and me are at complete disposal to offer assistance and track everyday problems that they may face regarding public administration. We are open to any cooperation, or proposal offering concrete suggestions on the correction of the legal framework. My office is at the service of any entrepreneur in our country and we act in the defense of any unjustly violated interests. The Albanian government considers entrepreneurs as partners and their indisputable role in the economic development of the country requires a proactive approach and co-governance together!