Overview of best prospect sectors, major infrastructure projects, significant government procurements and business opportunities.
Despite its challenges, Albania’s emerging economy represents significant opportunities for U.S. exports and investments across a wide range of sectors, including energy, healthcare, tourism, telecommunications and ICT, infrastructure and construction, and food processing.
Energy: Large investments in the generation of electricity by private operators as well as public investment in the improvement and modernization of transmission and distribution networks by public companies offer opportunities for exports of goods and services. The government has announced plans to invest in the construction of Skavica Hydroelectric Plant with an installed capacity of up to 350 MW with U.S. firm Bechtel. Ongoing and planned investments in small and large solar and wind farms represent good opportunities demonstrated by two 30-year concession contracts French Voltalia’s signed with the Albanian government, one for the construction of 140 MW solar power plant in Vlore signed in August 2020 and the other one for the construction of the 100 MW solar power plant in Durres, signed in March 2021,
Continuing development of the oil and gas sector creates potential for exports of equipment and services in all segments—upstream, midstream, and downstream. Shell continues exploration in several onshore blocks in Albania and future onshore and offshore exploration opportunities all present opportunities for exports of equipment and services in the oil and gas sector. ENI also signed a production sharing contract for exploration in Albania in 2019. The development of gas market and gas infrastructure in Albania, including pipelines, underground storage, and LNG offer prospects for exports and investment.
Healthcare: Modernization of the public health care sector as well as the growth of the private healthcare sector has increased demand for advanced medical devices and equipment. Dentistry also offers potential for exports of supplies and equipment with dental tourism growing driving increased demand for equipment and materials.
ICT: Modernization of government operations, including significant advancements in the government’s Digital Revolution Agenda that foresees almost all public services would be available online have all created opportunities for exports of IT equipment and services. Continued investments by telecommunication operators, and internet providers offer opportunities for exports of equipment and services. The COVID-19 pandemic is also shifting many businesses toward modernization of their operations and infrastructure, driving up the demand for more IT equipment and services.
Infrastructure: Continued opportunities exist for exports of heavy construction machinery for infrastructure development, including roads, railway, airports, tunnels, and ports. In addition, ongoing and future investments in waste treatment and processing offer potential for exports of services and technology.
Food Processing and Agriculture: Frozen meat products, represents continued export opportunities. Agro-processing also presents potential opportunities given a robust demand for packaging and distribution facilities, refrigeration and storage capacity, and quality control. The government plans to modernize and consolidate the agricultural sector, which may spur demand for farm equipment and services.
Tourism: Tourism continues to play a leading role in Albania’s economic development and growth is expected for years to come with 2021 tourism numbers already exceeding pre-COVID levels. Given Albania’s long Adriatic coastline, Mediterranean climate, and abundant archaeological, historical, and religious sites, tourism represents a promising sector for the Albanian economy. Opportunities exist for the development of hotels, resorts, marinas, and other tourist infrastructure. Additionally, the GOA removed in 2020 the 20% value added tax for pleasure boats, which is expected to increase the imports of pleasure boats in the near future.