Economy Will Continue to Languish Even in 2017
Albanian Daily News
Published January 17, 2017

Albanian economy will continue
to languish even during this year as the consumption will grow only during the
elections month, June as a result of votes' purchase, the head of the Traders
Association and businessman Nikollaq Neranxi said in an interview for Monitor
on Monday.

According to Neranxi, 2017 will be a
tough year because the businesses are already facing several difficulties due
to the increase of taxes, decline of consumption, wrong and aggressive policies
of current government. He stressed that the high taxes have already cut down
the profits of the large and consolidated businesses which do not foresee any
expansion of activity in 2017.

"During 2016, the economic growth was at
3.4% while in 2017 the government expects a 3.8% growth where Lek 20 billion
will support the implementation of several important reforms, $100 million will
go for salaries and pensions' increase and investments' growth at the level of
5% of GDP, etc. While this government has only six months left till the end of
the mandate, we can say that it failed to keep its promises. So, I think that
the investments' growth of 5% will not happen even this year," Neranxi said. He
considered the 2017 budget as the budget of survival and not the best one ever
in all aspects as presented by the Minister of Finance.

"When a government cuts the public
expenditures, especially in the end of its mandate, this shows that it didn't
do things right. We should remind them the fact that 400,000 Albanians live on
less than $4 a day while over 200,000 others have already abandoned the
country," Neranxi said.

According to him, such concerning
figures show that the pace of country's impoverishing and abandoning confirm
the economic depression that has engulfed the society here. He further said
that the business which he called as the main engine of Albanian economy faced
with oppression, arrogance and higher taxes. Speaking about the operation
against informality, Neranxi stated that businesses supported such initiative
but he noted that it should have been done in a different way and not through

"37,000 businesses were formalized but
other 90,000 businesses passed into the passive state while the tax debt rose
by Euro 100 million only last year. Even the foreign investments stopped
because the Albanian market promised nothing," Neranxi explained.

In his view, Albanian state failed to
provide favorable policies that would attract more foreign investments and give
a new impetus to the Albanian economy. "Based on this brief analysis, I can say
that 2017 will not bring any novelty regarding the economy development. When we
listen to the government or Tirana municipality pledges that taxes won't
change, this doesn't give businesses any hope because they are actually looking
for a lowering of taxes.

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