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PROFILE: Albania



A few practical Tips about Albania

 

  • Greetings in the first meeting are conservative and reserved. A handshake and direct eye contact are expected.  

  • Business meetings are liable to be held anywhere.

  • Meeting schedules are not usually followed. They are normally later than scheduled.

  • Gift giving is expected.

  • The official language is Albanian.

  • Many Albanian businesspeople have a good command of English.

  • Overall, Albania’s prevailing religion is Islam, specifically Sunni Islam. In addition to Islam, Christianity is also practiced.

 

A Brief History

 

  • 1912 – The country declared independence from the Ottoman Empire.  There was a short-lived monarchy.

  • 1939 - Conquered by Italy.

  • 1943 - Germany occupied the country.

  • 1944 - Communists took over country.

  • 1945 - Allied itself with the Soviet Union.                

  • 1960 – 1978 – It allied itself with China.              

  • Early 1990s – It ended communist rule and established a multiparty democracy.

  • 1979 -1999 – The economy collapsed and there was civil disorder.  UN peacekeepers intervened.

  • 1999 - 450,000 ethnic Albanians fled from Kosovo to Albania to escape from the Serbs.

  • 2009 - It joined NATO.

  • 2014 - It became an official candidate for EU membership.  

 

General Information

 

  • Location: Southeastern Europe bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea between Greece to the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

  • Government Type: Parliamentary republic

  • Capital City: Tirana

  • Literacy Rate: 99% (2022)

  • Size: Slightly smaller than Maryland

  • Population: 3.1 M

  • Population Growth Rate: 0.16% (2024 est.)

 

National Holidays – Albania celebrates several national holidays throughout the year, including both secular and religious observances.

 

  • January 1 - New Year’s Day

  • January 2 - New Year’s Holiday

  • March 14 - Summer Day

  • March 22 - Nevruz Day (Persian New Year)

  • March 31- Catholic Easter Sunday

  • April 1- Catholic Easter Monday

  • April 10 - Eid al-Adha 

  • May 1- Labor Day

  • May 5 - Orthodox Easter Sunday

  • May 6 - Orthodox Easter Monday

  • June 16 - Eid al- Adha

  • June 17 - Eid al- Adha Holiday

  • September 5 - Saint Teresa Sanctification Day

  • November 21 – National Language Day

  • November 28 - Flag and Independence Day

  • November 29 - Liberation Day

  • December 8 - National Youth Day

  • December 9 - National Youth Day Holiday

  • December 25 - Christmas Day  

 

 The economy

 

  • Unemployment Rate: 11.63% (2022)

  • GDP: 18.9B (2022)

  • GDP Growth Rate: 4.86% (2022)

  • Labor Force: 1.405M (2022)

  • Labor Force Breakdown - NOT AVAILABLE

  • Major Industries: food, footwear, apparel and clothing, lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower

  • Agricultural Products: milk, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, watermelons, wheat, grapes, olives, cucumbers, onions

 

International Trade

 

Total Product Exports: $4.3B (2022) 

 

  • Major Product Exports (2022): ferroalloys - $450M, footwear parts - $323M, electricity - $282M, crude petroleum - $280M, leather footwear - $267M  

  • Major Export Partners (2022): Italy -$1.75B, Greece -$421M, Spain - $309B, Germany - $212M, China - $164M   

 

Total Product Imports (2022): $6.89B

 

  • Major Product Imports (2022): refined petroleum - $331M, electricity - $218M, cars - $197M, raw iron bars - $182M, packaged medicine - $178M 

  • Major Import Partners (2022):  Italy - $1.74B, Turkey - $936M, Greece - $807M, China - $679M, Germany - $341M 

 

English Language News Sites

 

 

Sampling of Albanian companies

 

  • Kurom International – conglomerate - iron & steel, electricity, industrial gases etc. - Elbasan

  • Albpetrol - oil & gas exploration and production - Patos

  • Antea Cement - building materials and fixtures - Fushe Kruje

  • Albchrome - iron & steel - Tirana

  • Birra Korca – brewery - Korce

  • Taci Oil - oil & gas exploration and production - Tirana

  • MELCO - defense production - Tirana

  • Brunes - furniture manufacturing and retail - Tirana

  • Neptun Electronics - consumer electronics - Tirana

  • Balfin Group - conglomerate-retail, real estate, mining, energy and tourism - Tirana

  • Big Market - food retailer and wholesaler - Tirana

  • MEMA Company - construction contractor - Tirana

  • Delvina Gas Company - oil & gas exploration and production 

 

By Paul Mastilak

InterMark3, Inc.

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