TIRANA - Albanian Government should frame projects according to the necessary standards in order to profit from the important financing program of the People's Republic of China for the Southeastern Europe which has been unveiled in Belgrade last year amounting to a multi-billion dollar value, the General Administrator of ALB-Konfindustria, Gjergj Buxhuku has said.
Asked by Albanian Daily News on the dynamics of the foreign investments in Albania during 2014 Mr. Buxhuku expressed his concern that there was a worrisome drop, especially from the European Union countries due to the global economic crisis.
According to him, Albania should have no taboos more than its strategic allies headed by the United States and try to exploit financing programs from all the countries and sources while respecting the international obligations and treaties.
Mr. Buxhuku was concrete when he called on the Albanian government to profit from the Chinese important financing program for the Southeastern Europe which amounts to a multi-billion dollar value and is being implemented in very important projects in many neighboring countries.
Albania's diplomacy should also be more open and active and without any prejudices for the increase of the economic cooperation with important countries like Iran, South Korea, India etc, said Mr. Buxhuku in the following interview:
- What can you say on the dynamics of the foreign investments in Albania during 2014?
- ALB-Konfindustria expresses its concern over the warned lack of the efficiency of the government politics for the attraction of the foreign direct investments to Albania.
Based on the date provided by the state-run Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), the value of the foreign investments in the country in 2014 was almost 15 percent lower than in the previous electoral year of 2013.
The problem of the attracting power of Albania appears in both the attraction of small and medium sized investments and in projects of the strategic sectors of the economy.
Actually Albania has remained only with some strategic projects of 5-6 years ago like TAP, the Devoll Hydropower Station and Shell Petromanas.
- Which is the main cause of such a significant drop of the foreign investments making Albania less attractive to major foreign investments?
- Since long ALB-Konfindustria has repeatedly warned the Albanian government that the competing power of the country was in danger of weakening as compared with the regional countries due to the growth of the taxes burden.
ALB-Konfindustria has often expressed its concern on the reduction by 24% in the value of foreign Investments in Albania for the period January-September, referring to data published by the Bank of Albania.
One of the main causes of the halving of foreign direct investments in Albanian economy is the consequences of the fiscal package that started being implemented in the beginning of 2014. The measure with the most tangible negative effect on the fiscal package 2014 for the foreign investments is the increase of the profit tax for business at the level of 50% reaching the level of 15%.
We want to note that all other region's countries apply flat tax at 9-10% as part of the policy to attract foreign investments. The unsteadiness of fiscal and economic policies comes also as a result of the non-attraction of foreign investors towards the Albanian economy.
ALB- Konfindustria also demands from the political decision making authorities to be professional and active for the exploitation of the financing programs from all the countries and sources while respecting the international obligations and treaties but without having any taboos more than its strategic allies headed by the United States.
- To be more concrete, what have you suggested to the government as far as this issue is concerned?
- For example it is obligatory for the Albanian executive to prepare as soon as possible projects according to the necessary standards in order to profit from the important financing program of the People's Republic of China for the Southeastern Europe which has lately been unveiled in Belgrade amounting to a multi-billion dollar value.
At a time when the financings from the countries of the European Union have significantly dropped in Albania as a consequence of the global crisis the concrete project of the People's Republic of China is a very good opportunity adding to this the positive historical background of the mutual friendly relations between the two countries.
Also, the diplomacy and politics of official Tirana should be more open, active and without any prejudices for the increase of the economic cooperation with important countries like Iran, South Korea, India etc. which are insignificant or not at all present in Albania's 'map' of the bilateral and multilateral economic, trade and cultural relations.