Albania, the last in the region for foreign investments?

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The leader of the Freedom Party, Ilir Meta, in a public statement for the media, expressed that Albania ranks last in the region in attracting foreign investments. Verifications show that at the end of last year, the flow of foreign investments in Albania amounted to 396.2 million dollars, making Albania the second in the region after Serbia.

Esmeralda Topi

Data from the Bank of Albania shows that Foreign Direct Investments reached 308 million euros in the first quarter of the year, increasing by 1.65% compared to the same period a year earlier.

Meanwhile, last year, the flow of foreign direct investments in Albania reached the value of 1.37 billion euros, showing a 33% increase compared to the previous year.

However, the leader of the Freedom Party, Ilir Meta, claims that “Albania ranks last in the region for foreign investments”.

In a statement from the party headquarters on June 13, with a focus on the economy, Mr. Meta stated, among other things, that “Albania ranks last in the region for attracting foreign investments.”.’  

How does Albania rank?

According to official data, Serbia has had the highest flow of foreign direct investments in the region. Albania comes second, followed by Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Kosovo and North Macedonia are the last.

Foreign Direct Investments 2022

Serbia: 482.8 million dollars

Albania: 396.2 million dollars

Montenegro: 204.7 million dollars

Bosnia and Herzegovina: 203.8 million dollars

Kosovo: 167.3 million dollars

North Macedonia: 8.5 million dollars

Source: CEICDATA

Even the World Bank data for the countries of the Western Balkans “disprove” Mr. Meta’s claim. According to statistics, the net flow of foreign investments in Albania at the end of 2022 was 6.3% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In relation to the region, Albania ranks second after Montenegro.

Foreign Direct Investments 2022 vs GDP

Kosovo: 3.7%

Albania: 6.3%

Montenegro: 10.3%

North Macedonia: 3%

Serbia: 5.5%

Bosnia and Herzegovina: 2.2%

Source: World Bank

Even in this year’s projections, Albania ranks second after Serbia with direct investment flows accounting for 4.9% of GDP.

Foreign Direct Investments 2023 vs GDP

Kosovo: 3.7%

Albania: 4.9%

Montenegro: 9%

North Macedonia: 3%

Serbia: 5.8%

Bosnia and Herzegovina: 2.1%

Source: World Bank

Meanwhile, according to data processed by the World Bank for 2021, the net flow of foreign investments in Albania amounts to 6.7% of GDP. In relation to the region, our country ranks third after Montenegro and Serbia. But not the last, as the leader of the Freedom Party claimed.

Source: World Bank

Foreign Direct Investments in the Western Balkans

A recent report by the research and development center network ALTAX has come to the conclusion that at the end of 2022, foreign direct investments in the Western Balkans amounted to 8.8 billion dollars, with a high increase in Serbia and Albania.

‘The Republic of Serbia accounts for half of their total stock in the region, while the rest is divided among five other countries, roughly corresponding to the size of their market and economies,” the report states, emphasizing that the average stock of Foreign Direct Investments in the Western Balkan countries is close to the value in the European Union.

Source: ALTAX

More specifically, according to data processed by ALTAX, in Albania in 2022, the stock of Foreign Direct Investments per capita amounts to 496 euros.

In 2022, Kosovo holds the first place in terms of the level of Foreign Direct Investment stock per capita, with an 84.7% increase compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, Montenegro and North Macedonia rank second and third, with 41.2% and 40.4% growth, respectively, compared to the previous year.

“Albania and Serbia, even though they have a high level of foreign investment stock, have a growth that indicates a sustainable trend, although Albania’s growth indicates that it has better utilized the attraction of foreign capital,” the report emphasizes.

Based on this data, we categorize the statement of the leader of the Freedom Party as untrue.

 

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