Economy Growing, Social Inequality Deepening
Albanian Daily News
Published January 29, 2017

The European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development, EBRD, released Friday in Tirana its Transition Report 2016-17,
which affirmed Albania's improvement in growth, continued low inflation and
further progress in the clearance of public sector arrears during the past

Addressing the presentation, Governor of the
Bank of Albania Gent S ejko noted that the EBRD Report assesses positively the
government's economic reforms and policies.

Sejko underlined that the Transition Report
represents an independent assessment and a contemporary standard that helps in
making an objective judgment on the progress of reforms and economic policies
launched by the authorities of each country and it professionally gauges
economic, legal and institutional progress of each country included in the

"The conclusions of the EBRD Report on
economic and monetary and financial performance are quite similar to the
analysis and conclusions of the Bank of Albania at the end of 2016. More specifically,
the Albanian economy has accelerated the growth rates driven primarily by the
Central Bank's accommodative monetary policy and its effects on the economy.
Such factors, together with the further recovery of domestic demand will play
an important role in higher growth of economic activity during 2017,"
Governor Sejko said in his remarks. The report highlights the important fact
that Albanian banking system remains liquid, well-capitalized and able to
withstand shocks that might come from the external sector.

"The report identifies non-performing
loans as a major risk not only to the health of the banking system, but also in
terms of the effects of monetary policy to increase lending to the private
sector. The report evaluates positively coordinated action plan undertaken by
the Bank of Albania in cooperation with the government and international
institutions to address in full the non-performing loans problem," he

The report also pointed to a topical issue
present across all the countries in transition, pertaining the deepening of
social inequality. EBRD economist Francesca della Pozza stressed that Albania
is one of the countries where the report has shown that the economic inequality
has increased. According to her, the perceptions are more important than the
statistics. In this regard, BoA Governor said that the Bank of Albania and the
banking system are paying particular attention to this. "Our financial
education programs, informative publications on banking products and services, coupled
with regulation, licensing, introduction and support for new payment and
financial services technology and instruments, are aimed at enhancing financial
inclusion and generating opportunities for financial access for all groups of
the society. The Bank of Albania deems that more may be done with regard to
designing and promoting financial products that satisfy better the needs of
such groups," stressed the Governor.

In conclusion, Governor Sejko thanked once again the EBRD for the
important contribution and the concrete support with financial investments in
key areas of the Albanian economy and invited the EBRD to continue to consider
the great potential that Albania has to offer. 

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