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FIAA is part of the Multi Stakeholders Group at EITI Secretariat Albania

September 22, 2021
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FIAA is part of the Multi Stakeholder Group at EITI Secretariat Albania

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative – EITI, is an international initiative with main object to develop and implement a mechanism for declaring revenues earned from the use of Natural Resources through Extractive Industries, publishing of these data in an understandable format by everyone and their oversight by providing to the general public information on public revenue and expenditure, thus, contributing to a public debate and the establishment of mechanisms for the good governance of these revenues to the benefit of communities. The EITI process can be further tailored and adapted according to the current context of each implementing country, in order to meet the information needs of stakeholders, as well as the needs to tackle the sector with important reforms, based on this data. As it is set out in the EITI Standards Requirements, the EITI Standard Implementation requires effective oversight of the EITI process by all stakeholders. This is accomplished through the establishment and functioning of a Multi Stakeholder Group, which includes government representatives, companies operating in this sector, and full, independent, active and effective participation of civil society, who are committed to work together in order to develop and promote the transparency and good governance of this sector.

The EITI Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) was established by the Prime Minister’s Order no.71, dated 21.07.2011, to follow-up Albania’s membership procedures as an implementing country of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the ongoing fulfillment of the obligations deriving from this initiative.

The Multi Stakeholder Group for EITI Albania is the decision-making body, in charge of supervising the implementation of EITI in Albania. This group is headed by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy and consists of government representatives, companies operating in extractive industries and civil society. The Multi Stakeholder Group approves the work plan for the secretariat, submits the annual EITI report, ensures that EITI contributes to public debate and supports the work of the Albanian Secretariat EITI.

For more information: https://www.albeiti.org/site/en/legislation/

The Multi Stakeholder Group EITI (MSG) operates based on its Internal Regulation “REGULATION ON ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONING OF THE MULTI STAKEHOLDERS GROUP (MSG) IN FRAME OF THE MEMBERSHIP IN THE EITI-INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION” – Approved with the Minister’s Order, no.454 Prot, dated 30.12.2016 “Order for the adoption of the Regulation of the Multi Stakeholder Group (MSG) in frame of the membership in the EITI International Organization”

For more information: https://www.albeiti.org/site/en/regulation-of-msg/

Members of the Multi Stakeholders Group

The Multi Stakeholder Group, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Energy, consists of 16 representatives, 6 representatives from the government, 5 representatives from civil society and 5 representatives from the companies operating in the extractive industry. Representatives from other institutions may also participate in the multi stakeholder group meetings upon the invitation of the chairman.

Method for selection of Representatives of Extractive Industries to the EITI MSG and current representatives  

Representatives of Extractive Industry Operators, Members of MSG EITI Albania shall be selected, mandated and replaced in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 10 and 11 of the Internal Regulation. In order to maintain diversified opinion and broad representation, each interest group has the right to designate its representatives in MSG for EITI in Albania. The nomination process is independent within each subgroup.

Participation in the MSG for Civil Society representatives and business representatives, in order to enable broad-based representation, is made upon open public invitation by the Chairman of this Working Group and is administered independently and transparently by each group. Each group must make transparent the procedure for selecting MSG members and must provide documents to the Chairman of the MSG, for the process and selection procedure, as well as validity of each member’s mandate;

– The EITI Secretariat Albania will provide technical support throughout the selection process, if this is required by each of the groups, in order to fulfill the transparency of each process.

For more information: https://www.albeiti.org/site/en/regulation-of-msg/

On 16.11.2016, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between FIAA and National Secretariat of EITI Albania, by No. 118 Prot, which stipulates that FIAA will be the only formal Institution that Represents Businesses in Extracting Industries and that it will undertake the selection process of MSG members from business representatives, ensuring a transparent and independent representation. Despite the limited number of seats for FIAA in the MSG, the selecting process among the members of FIAA within this industry is made based on the following criteria:

  • One Representative per Industry
  • ProActive Representatives in various discussions and initiatives
  • Professionally committed Representatives in discussions

For more information: https://www.albeiti.org/site/en/selection-process-of-extractive-industries-companies/

In frame of the Corrective Actions left by the First Validation Process, where it was required the representation as a Member in the MSG for ALBPETROL sh.a., and pursuant the resignation given for work purposes by the Statkraft representative, on 11.01.2019, the Chairman of MSG Mr. Enis Aliko by letter no.17 Prot, dated 22.01.2019, requested the replacement of the Statkraft Member with the representative of Albpetrol sh.a.

For more information: https://www.albeiti.org/site/en/selection-process-of-extractive-industries-companies/

 Over the years, FIAA’s Representatives in the MSG have been the largest investors in the country, such as:

  1. Bankers Petroleum
  2. Devoll Hydropower Sh.a./STATKRAFT
  3. Beralb Sh.a
  4. Albchrome
  5. Stream Oil

Currently, the representatives of Extractive Industry Operators in the MSG are as follows:

  1. Mr. Përparim Alikaj, (FIAA)
  2. Mr. Dritan Dervishaj, Antea Cement (FIAA)
  3. Mr. Ergi Nuri, Shell Upstream Albania B.V (FIAA)
  4. Mrs. Mariola Kito, Statkraft Albania (FIAA)
  5. Mr. Florian Muçaj, Administrator of Albpetrol Sh.a.

For more information: https://www.albeiti.org/site/en/multi-stakeholder-group/

 

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WHITE BOOK ALBANIA 2021- 2025 preparation is now close to its publication

July 5, 2021
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In frame of the FIAA’s commitment to improving the business climate in Albania, the Tax and Legal Committee ‘Experts under FIAA, have prepared the first Draft of the White Book Albania 2021-2025. The draft is now under broader consultations with more businesses, members of FIAA and it is treating a significant part of the legal and tax framework in the country by addressing the most concerning issues in the doing business environment, along with proposed solutions and recommendations for each area of interest.

Chapters of the White Book draft cover mostly the: Tax Law; Business Registration Law; Banking Regulatory Framework; Corporate Law; Concessions Law; Energy Renewables Law; Bankruptcy Law; Fiscal Regime on Hydrocarbons in Albania; Hydrocarbons Law; Employment Law; Law on Invoice and Turnover Monitoring System (Fiscalisation Law); Pension Fund Law in Albania; Residence and Work Permit Law; Carbon Tax/Excise Tax; Trademarks Protection as well as Waste recycling Management.

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No penalties shall apply until 1 January 2022 for incompliance with e-invoicing law requirements

July 1, 2021
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The Albanian Government approved on 1 July 2021, the non-application of penalties until 1 January 2022 for incompliance with the e-invoicing law requirements. The decision taken by the Council of Ministers was approved through a normative act with immediate effect, published in the official gazette. The decision stipulates that no penalties shall apply until next year for taxpayers’ offences in relation to the timelines for entry into force and effective application of the Law 87/2019 “On the invoice and the system for monitoring the turnover”.

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Mrs. Albana Shkurta – Managing Director of Lufthansa Industry Solutions Shpk

June 29, 2021
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“Tirana has been developing quickly into a digital hub in the Balkans”

FIAA: Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a leading IT company in the Albanian market. Could you tell us about this company’s business worldwide and the decision to enter the Albanian market?

Mrs. Shkurta: Lufthansa Industry Solutions is a service provider for IT consulting and system integration. As a subsidiary of Deutsche Lufthansa Group, Lufthansa Industry Solutions supports its clients’ digital transformation. Its customer base includes companies both within and outside the Lufthansa Group, more than 200 companies in various lines of business. The company is based in Norderstedt, Germany and employs more than 2,100 members of staff at several branches in Germany, Switzerland, the USA and since April 2019 in Tirana, Albania.

The decision to enter the Albanian market was made after carefully examining various models of cooperation with AMD, a specifically established German Albanian start up. AMD was founded on March 2017 and from the very beginning was providing IT services for Lufthansa Industry Solutions as a nearshore partner. The quality of work performed by AMD convinced Lufthansa Industry Solutions to officially take over this service provider in 15 April 2019. This was key to company’s strategic growth in response to the rising demand for IT services in the German, Austrian, and Swiss market.

2020 was an unusual year, did you experience any difficulties during your operations? How did you cope with “The Smart Working Mode”?

As an IT consulting company, fully integrated with our mother company, we have always been ready to sustain remote work while keeping in mind safety measures for topics such as data protection, information security, which for a company like ours are paramount. Our agile working methodology allows our employees a lot of independence and flexibility in the way they organize their working time or space without affecting quality and standard of service delivery.

Certainly, the sustained long-term lockdown did not find us unprepared. Our new offices at Arena Center have been designed keeping in mind all the regulations for health and safety.

How is the company performing? Are there any plans for further extensions?

The IT industry is the fastest growing industry in the market nowadays. As an IT consulting company, part of one of the leading IT consulting companies in Germany, we are always up to date with the technological trends. After a difficult year 2020, we are back on track to a growing path. Currently we employee more than 200 IT consultants and the plan is to grow by at least 30% during 2022.

We value the cooperation with universities and academies specialized in software training as well as intense in-house training and mentorship offered not only by the team in Albania but also through our colleagues in Germany.

What are your impressions of the current business-operating environment in Albania? What challenges are you facing?

The overall business-operating environment in Albania is relatively stable. Setting up and operating an IT consulting business is relatively easy from a perspective of capital investment as well as fiscal and regulatory aspects. Albania, particularly Tirana has been developing quickly into a digital hub in the Balkans. Five years ago, there was only one IT company with more than 100 employees, right now there are at least five in this range. The right synergy between private sector, institutions of higher education, particularly private ones, and the government, as well as logistical aspects of the business such as office locations or IT Network infrastructure all contribute towards growth in this sector.

The more attractive the sector, the higher the interest of young people to study on this field.

Our focus is to offer IT services to our home market; therefore, we do not compete for customers in Albania, rather for resources. Companies similar to ours might consider investing in personnel development and training, which is the source towards sustainable business growth and avoid artificially distorting the job market.

Another big challenge is the choice that some of our employees make to leave the country in response to the increasing demand in the global market for IT services.

What improvements in your business-operating environment do you think are important for attracting more foreign investors in Albania?

In our business environment there is no direct improvement that is needed, other than at a more strategic level, to increase young professionals’ confidence that there will be a better future in Albania for them and for their children.

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Public Consultation of the “Draft Intersectoral Justice Strategy 2021-2025”

June 28, 2021
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Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has shared for consultation “The Draft Intersectoral Justice Strategy 2021-2025”. The Draft Intersectoral Justice Strategy 2021-2025 aims to consolidate the legal and institutional framework of the justice system, to incorporate modern European practices in criminal justice, to improve the infrastructure of the justice system, including innovative electronic solutions that support a substantial increase in efficiency and transparency in the justice sector, which are fundamental for the business climate too.

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FIAA New Board of Directors ‘Meeting

June 10, 2021
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In June 9th, the FIAA Board of Directors gathered in their first meeting after the newly elected members had joined. The main focus of the meeting was on the FIAA’s upcoming agenda as well as the New Board restructuring. Main discussions among the board members were “brainstorming” on the business concerns and issues that FIAA members report. The Board agreed that the Lobbying process will continue as intensively as before, but the approach with the authorities should be improved and restructured by embracing new ways.

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FIAA Annual Meeting 2021

June 2, 2021
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In June 1st, the Foreign Investors Association of Albania (FIAA) held its Annual Assembly Meeting. This Meeting was the first with physical presence of businesses after a long social distancing that society experienced due to the pandemic.

This event, along with the Assembly of Members launch, was also business nature and an opportunity for some informal networking which, was very helpful after such a long period of isolation, thus rejuvenating FIAA relationships and friendships in a conducive and relaxed environment.

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Consultation for the European Commission’s 2021 Annual Report on Albania

April 10, 2021
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The Delegation of the European Union in Albania, during the second trimester of the year has started preparing the Annual Report 2021 on Albania. As in previous editions, they welcomed input from business organizations to obtain views on the topics covered in the report. The structure of the Albania 2021 Annual Report required for each of the criteria – political, economic and European standards (chapters), an evaluation of Albania’s progress since June 2020. Focus is on the Progress measured in terms of concrete decisions taken, adopted legislation and degree of implementation.

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