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Doing Business in Albania
 

2013 Investment Climate Statement – Albania

Openness to Foreign Investment

Albania has put in place a liberal foreign investment regime and increasing FDI is a top priority for the GOA. The government has taken measures to improve the overall business climate in the country by streamlining business procedures through e-government reforms and undertaking comprehensive structural reforms to both improve relevant legislation in a variety of sectors and lower fiscal burdens for companies. Despite progress in these reforms, major challenges remain with investors citing widespread corruption, weak law enforcement, insufficiently defined property rights, government bureaucracy, lack of developed infrastructure, and frequent changes in the legal framework.  (full report)

Exporting to Albania

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) http://www.export.gov in 2010 with the goal of doubling exports by 2014.  The U.S. Embassy is committed to supporting U.S. companies interested in exporting to the Albanian market. In this section, you’ll find a brief overview of Albania as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.

Getting Started

In order to conduct business effectively in Albania, it is essential for U.S. firms to have a basic overview of economic conditions and opportunities in Albania.  We highly suggest you visit the export.gov page to access the latest Country Commercial Guide on Albania which is prepared annually by the economic and commercial team in Tirana. The report gives prospective investors and exporters an overview of Albania’s business climate.  The report can be found at the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library.

The Market Research Library Includes: 

  • Country Commercial Guides (read the latest “Albanian Country Commercial Guide”)
  • Industry Overviews*
  • Market Updates*
  • Multilateral Development Bank Reports*
  • Best Markets*
  • Industry/Regional Reports*

Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Albania. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You http://export.gov/eac/index.asp

Contact the Economic and Commercial staff at US Embassy Tirana at the USALBusines@state.gov

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs).  Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the USG and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration.  The partnership provides educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs. 

Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania http://www.amcham.com.al

Business Matchmaking Services for US companies

While the U.S. Commercial Service offers its services and customized solutions to U.S. exporters in 80 countries worldwide, in smaller markets like Albania this responsibility is traditionally handled by the Department of State's Economic and Commercial Section.
The U.S. Commercial Service in Italy maintains an active “Partner Post” program with the Economic and Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Albania. Through this program, the Commercial Service office in Italy provides guidance and support to the Partner Post in order to offer standard Commercial Service products and services to U.S. exporters interested in the Albanian market.

As a result of this program, the Economic and Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Albania offers a range of business facilitation services.  A list of specialized, fee-based business facilitation services available to U.S. businesses in Albania is listed below. For more information on these services please contact the economic and commercial team or e-mail to USALBusiness@state.gov

Embassy Tirana’s regional contact for U.S. Commercial Service can be reached at the following link: http://export.gov/italy  

Business Facilitation Services for U.S. Businesses in Albania

  • Partner Search: Identify Albanian potential partners and receive detailed company reports.  Determine the marketability of your product or service in Albania.
  • Personalized Business Matchmaking: Meet one-on-one with pre-screened Albanian buyers, sales representatives, and business partners through our Gold Key Service.  Leverage customized market briefings, research, and advice.
  • In-Country Promotions: Leverage the Single Company Promotion to reach potential Albanian partners and buyers, an affordable and convenient way to connect with customers in Albania and grow your business.
  • Contact Lists: Identify potential Albanian partners.  Market your firm directly to Albanian companies.

For further information on any of these products or others, please contact the Econ/Commercial Team on this page.

Investing in Albania

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Albania.

Potential investors: Getting Started. 

If you are considering investing in Albania, here are some steps to consider as you get started:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are planning a visit to consider investment, let us know by sending an email to USALBusiness@state.gov  
  • Visit host country resources, such as Albania Investment Development Agency www.aida.gov.al and the Business Registration Center for initial information www.qkr.gov.al
  • Visit the Albanian Public Procurement Agency at www.app.gov.al for government tenders and opportunities
  • Contact local U.S. business support organizations, such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania  http://www.amcham.com.al/
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed

Current investors: Staying Connected

If you are a current U.S. investor in Albania, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Albania, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses USALBusiness@state.gov  
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that may arise

Working in Albania

In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.

Business Visas

U.S. citizens entering or exiting Albania must have at least six months or more validity on their passport.  An American citizen does not have to obtain a visa prior to entering Albania.  An entry stamp will be issued at the point of entry that is valid for a stay of up to 90 days. Travelers should be aware that Albanian law allows a traveler without a visa to remain in Albania for 90 days only within a specific 180-day period. That 180-day period is starts from the first day of entry. For example, a traveler entering without a visa on January 1 may remain in Albania for 90 days total during the period of time between January 1 and June 28. Departing Albania during this time period does not "restart the clock." Travelers that need to stay for more than 90 days should apply for a residency permit.

Information on how to apply for a residency permit is available on the Embassy's web site at: http://tirana.usembassy.gov/residency.html  

For more information on travel of U.S. citizens to Albania, please visit the web page of Albanian Embassy in DC http://www.embassyofalbania.org/index.php?page=consular-services

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_1764.html for Albania.

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving, or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.   

More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.fcpa.us/

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the FCPA statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) also publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

More information on the DOJ opinion procedure can be found here: http://www.morganlewis.com/documents/fcpa/FCPAOpinionProcedureReleases.pd

CONTACT US

  • Econ/Commercial Team:

    Mr. Donald A. Brown
    Economic and Commercial Officer
    United States Embassy
    Rruga Elbasanit 103
    Tirana, Albania
    BrownDA8@state.gov


    Ms. Edi Jacellari
    Commercial Assistant
    United States Embassy
    Rruga Elbasanit 103
    Tirana, Albania
    jacellarie@state.gov

    Economic and Commercial Affairs
    USALBusiness@state.gov

    Embassy:  Phone: + (355) 42 247 285
    Embassy:  Fax: + (355) 42 232 222

BusinessUSA.gov

  • Business USA Logo BusinessUSA.gov is the U.S. Government's official web portal to support business start-ups, growth, financing, and exporting.