World Bank group member International Finance Corporation (IFC) said it has signed an agreement with Albania’s finance ministry to help the country enhance its investment policies supported also by a financial contribution by the European Commission.
“The EU funding is part of a 2.5 million euro ($2.8 million) programme to help prepare the economies of the Western Balkans for EU accession and support economic development in South Eastern Europe (SEE),” IFC said in a press release late on Tuesday.
Under the agreement, IFC will advise the Albanian government to better align its investment policies with those in the EU and improve its investor services.
“The reforms are designed to help spur foreign investment in sectors like light manufacturing and automotive components, creating jobs and supporting sustainable growth,” IFC said.
According to IFC, the reforms will help Albania attract foreign companies and make it easier for them to expand their operations.
“The number of investors ready to enter the Albanian market is increasing,” Albania’s finance minister Anila Denaj said in the press release. “Albania along with other Western Balkan countries are committed to achieving higher competitiveness and laws that will create a better support for foreign investors and for the development of businesses.”
IFC regional manager for Central and Southeast Europe, Thomas Lubeck noted that connecting the economies of the Western Balkans to global markets through trade, transport, and investment will help spur growth and create jobs.
The head of the operations section in the EU delegation to Albania, Stephen Stork, said unlocking the potential of the private sector is key to supporting economic development in Albania. “
To this end, Albania will take measures to encourage investments and implement its commitments for the development of the Regional Economy Area (REA), as was jointly committed with the EU, in the Commission’s Policy Dialogue for Economic Reform Programs, Stork said.
The project is part of a larger effort by the EU and IFC to encourage investment and cross-border trade in the Western Balkans and in SEE.