FIAA opposes returning of compulsory membership in the Chambers of Commerce and Industry

FIAA opposes returning of compulsory membership in the Chambers of Commerce and Industry

October 1, 2016
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FIAA, as a representative of the foreign business community in the country has recently expressed its concerns related to the amendment of the law for Chambers of Commerce and Industry which the Albanian Parliament approved during the parliamentary session of September 29th.

This legal amendment restores compulsory membership of business to the Chambers and a payment of the annual quota for all legal entities registered in Albania.

FIAA has stated that these changes were not part of any public discussion phase in the Ministry of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship before they were sent to Parliament of Albania, contrary to the explicit commitment by the government for discussion and dialogue with business groups of interest on legal acts and regulations that affect business, as well as contrary to the legal obligation set out in law no. 57/2014.

FIAA has followed the discussion process of this law since early this year, when the draft to Parliamentary Commission for Productive Activities, by submitting all arguments, legal, financial and best practices in the world about the inadequacy of the bill.

The discussions which continued to the Committee for Production Activities in January, February and April, gave the impression that the needs and requirements of the business would be taken into account, by returning this law to the Ministry of Economy, the Institution which drafted it, thus to be consulted with all groups of interest. However, it was noted that none of the suggestions and comments of the business community have not been taken into consideration in the approved law. All businesses nationwide will be charged with a new obligation, without being yet clear which are the benefits of compulsory membership in Chambers of Trade and Industry organized on regional basis. Despite all business efforts to increase transparency and responsibility of parties, the process and the law passed without the consultation in the Parliament Commission for Production Activities.

FIAA’s position expresses the business’s willingness, supporting the concept that each business should be free to be part of the organizations it want to represent it, and supporting their right to decide not to be part of any of them. By providing to business the freedom to choose voluntarily all chambers such as associations, the latter, would be more attentive to increase services, to represent with dignity the voice of their members and to contribute to the development of the country’s economy. FIAA will continue to persevere in its work to enhance the economy of the country and respect the fundamental rights of members and of business in general.