Albania has been the last country of Eastern Europe to give up with a communist centralized regime (ocurring in the 1990s) and adopt a capitalist market, meaning the country is still undergoing a period of transition. The country basically had to radically switch to a system based on cooperatives to an individual initiative based system. Even though the economy of the country got stronger those last years, Albania remains being one of the poorest country of Europe with an estimated GDP of 4000$ per inhabitant in 2008, or 30% of the european average. Close to 20% of the whole population still lives below the poverty line, with a rate of unemployement that is around 13.5%.
Almost half of the GDP comes from the informal economy, which has hindered the economical reforms, necessary to the wealth and the good development of the country. Albania is still largely dependant on the money expatriated Albanians from Greece and Italy pay to their families. Despite a low inflation in 2008, this rate is nevertheless stabilized around 3%. Despite the financial crisis spared Albania until 2011, the GDP of the country has progressed in 2009 of 3% and of 2% in 2010, particularly thanks to the fields of construction and services.
In 2006, the ratification of the Agreement of Stabilization between Albania and the European Union represents a significative advance on the way of Albania to its integration in the EU. The present government is focusing its attention on the fight against corruption, organized crimes, traffics of different sorts, and is implanting reforms of liberal inspiration meant to prepare Albania to an upcoming adhesion to the EU and to the attraction of foreign investments. The International Monetary Fund recently published another evaluation of the economy of six countries of the Balkan region, where Albania stated as in a better general position than the other evaluated countries.
As Albania is moderatly integrated in international capital, the impact of the economic crisis on the population has been less spectacular than in the rest of Europe. Economy has not been flourishing in 2008 with a a doubling of the national debt, a fall in the export field and a significative reduction of money desposits from Albanian migrants living abroad.
MAIN ECONOMICAL FIELDS
- Agriculture :This field largely dominates the albanian economy as it represents the employment of around 60% of the total population, for 25% of the GDP. The albanian agriculture is quite diversified with the production of cereal crops (wheat, corn, oats and sorghum), fruits and vegetables, but also tobacco and olive trees but you may also notice the incredible number of vineyards all around the country. However, it is important to know that the agricultural production is more important than it actaully contributes to the GDP as a large part of what’s produced directly benefits to the farmers, instead of being commercialized.
- IndustryThe industrial sector employs 15% of the working population. This sector is focused on food transformation, textile and clothings, woodwork, oil and mining extractions, cement, chemicals, transports and hydraulic energy.The bigger part of the large companies in Albania are foreign, causing consequent capital and natural richness leaks, but we can’t deny that at least, it provides work to the Albanian population.
- Tertiary sector :This sector represents almopst 60% of the GDP and employs another quarter of the working population. Tourism, telephony, the banking and insurance sector are determinely in a rapid expansion.