Berisha says Albania has much to promise
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Albanian Prime Minister Berisha speaks at a business forum in Ankara. AA photoAlbania has provided the best possible conditions for foreign investors, and is one of the ten countries that intervene least in business, Prime Minister Sali Berisha said April 6, calling on Turkish businessmen to invest in his country.
“Freedom in business circles is important for development, and we are working to lift all bureaucratic hurdles,” Berisha said, speaking at the Turkish-Albanian Business Forum in Ankara. Berisha called on Turkish companies to invest in Albania’s coastal and mountains regions, saying that by doing so they would be exempted from taxes for eight years. Turkish-Albanian economic relations have increased nine-fold since 2005, Berisha said, describing Turkey as a country that has overcome the financial fallout of the global crisis well.
The volume of trade between Turkey and Albania is not satisfactory, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said at the meeting. Babacan said the trade volume between the two countries was at $84 million ten years ago, but had reached $397 million last year. “However, when we look at the momentum of the Turkish and Albanian economies, this trade volume is far from satisfactory, and even if we are talking about a four-fold rise in trade volume in a decade, it is below the real potential.”
Albania plays a key role in maintaining stability and peace in the Balkans, Babacan said. He suggested the Balkans should become a single economic zone in which borders and visas are lifted, more free trade agreements are made, and customs duties and quotas are removed.
Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), said Albania promises important opportunities for investors and it is crucial for the Balkan country to integrate with European institutions. “Countries which cannot boost mutual trade and investments will be losers in the new era,” Hisarcıaklıoğlu said.