Albania is an upper-middle income economy – not yet fully integrated into world markets, but performing strongly. A key gateway to the Balkan Peninsula, Albania is blessed with plentiful natural resources, primarily oil and basic metals.
Following the collapse of Communism in the early nineties, Albania’s first democratic government undertook an ambitious market reform programme, liberalising price controls and privatising businesses. Modernisation is an ongoing process, however. Agriculture remains an important sector of the economy, employing just under 29% of the workforce.
The country’s poor communications network has long been a barrier to growth, and the EU is assisting the government in updating its road and communications network.
Industry contributes around 21% of GDP. Important industries include food processing, cement, textiles and footwear. Around 80% of Albanian goods are destined for EU markets. Foreign investment – chiefly from Italy, Germany and Turkey – accounts for around 50% of GDP. Remittances from the Albanian diaspora are another important source of national income, responsible for around 15% of national GDP.
Blessed with remarkable geographical diversity, Albania enjoys a growing reputation as a tourist destination. Not only are tourists drawn to Albania’s beautiful Adriatic and Ionian coastlines, the snow-capped Albanian Alps are becoming an increasingly popular destination for winter sports holidays.
Based in Tirana, Albania’s capital, HLB Talis is one of Albania’s most respected consultancy firms.