Getting Started

2017 Investment Climate Statement – Albania

Openness to Foreign Investment

Albania is an upper middle-income country with a GNI per capita of USD 4,300 (2015) and a population of approximately 2.8 million people, more than half of who live in rural areas. Real GDP grew by 3.3 percent through the third quarter of 2016, and growth is projected to reach 3.8 percent in 2017 on public spending increases. Albania received EU candidate status in June 2014 and is working to implement reforms necessary to open EU accession negotiations. In November 2016, Albania received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations conditioned primarily upon implementation of a judicial reform package passed earlier the same year. (full report)

Exporting to Albania

President Obama announced the National Export Initiative (NEI) in 2010 with the goal of doubling exports by 2014. The U.S. Embassy is committed to supporting U.S. companies interested in exporting to the Albanian market. In this section, you’ll find a brief overview of Albania as an export market and some suggestions for getting started.

Getting Started

In order to conduct business effectively in Albania, it is essential for U.S. firms to have a basic overview of economic conditions and opportunities in Albania.  We highly suggest you visit the export.gov page to access the latest Country Commercial Guide on Albania which is prepared annually by the economic and commercial team in Tirana. The report gives prospective investors and exporters an overview of Albania’s business climate.  The report can be found at the U.S. Commercial Service Market Research Library.

The Market Research Library Includes:

  • Country Commercial Guides (read the latest “Albanian Country Commercial Guide”)
  • Industry Overviews*
  • Market Updates*
  • Multilateral Development Bank Reports*
  • Best Markets*
  • Industry/Regional Reports*

Contact your local U.S. Export Assistance Center for advice and support on exporting to Albania. Contact a Trade Specialist Near You

Contact the Economic and Commercial staff at US Embassy Tirana at the USALBusines@state.gov

Contact your local Small Business Development Center (SBDCs).  Starting a business can be a challenge, but there is help for you in your area. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are partnerships primarily between the USG and colleges/universities administered by the Small Business Administration.  The partnership provides educational services for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

Contact in-country business support organizations such as the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania.

Business Matchmaking Services for U.S. companies

While the U.S. Commercial Service offers its services and customized solutions to U.S. exporters in 80 countries worldwide, in smaller markets like Albania this responsibility is traditionally handled by the Department of State’s Economic and Commercial Section.
The U.S. Commercial Service in Italy maintains an active “Partner Post” program with the Economic and Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Albania. Through this program, the Commercial Service office in Italy provides guidance and support to the Partner Post in order to offer standard Commercial Service products and services to U.S. exporters interested in the Albanian market.

As a result of this program, the Economic and Commercial Section at the U.S. Embassy in Albania offers a range of business facilitation services.  A list of specialized, fee-based business facilitation services available to U.S. businesses in Albania is listed below. For more information on these services please contact the economic and commercial team or e-mail to USALBusiness@state.gov

Embassy Tirana’s regional contact for U.S. Commercial Service can be reached at the following link: http://export.gov/italy

Business Facilitation Services for U.S. Businesses in Albania

  • Partner Search: Identify Albanian potential partners and receive detailed company reports.  Determine the marketability of your product or service in Albania.
  • Personalized Business Matchmaking: Meet one-on-one with pre-screened Albanian buyers, sales representatives, and business partners through our Gold Key Service.  Leverage customized market briefings, research, and advice.
  • In-Country Promotions: Leverage the Single Company Promotion to reach potential Albanian partners and buyers, an affordable and convenient way to connect with customers in Albania and grow your business.
  • Contact Lists: Identify potential Albanian partners.  Market your firm directly to Albanian companies.

For further information on any of these products or others, please contact the Econ/Commercial Team on this page.

Investing in Albania

This section provides information for current and potential investors in Albania.

Potential investors: Getting Started

If you are considering investing in Albania, here are some steps to consider as you get started:

Current investors: Staying Connected

If you are a current U.S. investor in Albania, the U.S Embassy wants to stay in touch. Here are a few steps you can take to keep the channels of communication open:

  • Register with the U.S. Embassy – If you are active in Albania, let us know by sending an email to the contact addresses USALBusiness@state.gov
  • Add us to your mailing lists – we are always happy to stay informed
  • Subscribe to our embassy Facebook page or Twitter feed
  • Set up a meeting with our economic or commercial team to discuss any issues that may arise

Working in Albania

In this section you will find information on business visas, travel advisories, and anti-corruption tools.

Business Visas

U.S. citizens entering or exiting Albania must have at least three months or more validity on their passport. In addition to a valid passport, the Border and Migration officer may ask you to provide additional documents. For a list of documents please see here

U.S. citizens may stay in the Republic of Albania for up to one year without a residence permit.  When you enter the country, it is important to check that the Border and Migration officer stamps your passport with the correct date.

To “restart the clock” on the one year time limit, you have to depart Albania and remain out of the country for at least 90 days.  In other words, if you stay in Albania for 1 year you would have to depart and remain outside the country for at least 90 days in order to re-enter without a residency permit.  Shorter trips outside of Albania during your stay do not lengthen or re-set the one year limit.

Information on how to apply for a residency permit is available on the Embassy’s web site, here.

For more information on travel of U.S. citizens to Albania, please visit the Albanian Embassy in DC

Travel Advisories

Make sure to check the current State Department travel advisory for Albania.

FCPA

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) is an important anti-corruption tool designed to discourage corrupt business practices in favor of free and fair markets.  The FCPA prohibits promising, offering, giving, or authorizing giving anything of value to a foreign government official where the purpose is to obtain or retain business.  These prohibitions apply to U.S. persons, both individuals and companies, and companies that are listed on U.S. exchanges. The statute also requires companies publicly traded in the U.S. to keep accurate books and records and implement appropriate internal controls.

More information on the FCPA can be found here: http://www.fcpa.us/

 

A party to a transaction seeking to know whether a proposed course of conduct would violate the FCPA can take advantage of the opinion procedure established by the FCPA statue.  Within 30 days of receiving a description of a proposed course of conduct in writing, the Attorney General will provide the party with a written opinion on whether the proposed conduct would violate the FCPA.  Not only do opinions provide the requesting party with a rebuttable presumption that the conduct does not violate the FCPA, but the Department of Justice (DOJ) also publishes past opinions which can provide guidance for other companies facing similar situations.

The Foreign Agricultural Service’s Rome office represents the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Albania.

Our mission is to provide information to buyers looking for U.S. agricultural genetics, bulk and processed commodities, food, and beverage products.  We also gather market intelligence and offer market briefs to help U.S. firms better understand the local market.  FAS offers some capacity building and other agricultural technical assistance programs, as well as provides technical expertise in international agricultural policy and trade discussions (i.e. food security, sustainability and climate change).

The FAS Office at the American Embassy in Rome has regional coverage for Albania, including Italy*, Greece, Croatia*, Bosnia*, Serbia*, Malta, and San Marino

* FAS Staff present in country

FAS can help you find U.S. agricultural product suppliers and register you as a foreign buyer of U.S. agricultural products.

Contact us!

FAS has information on foreign import requirements for the following U.S. products

MEAT POULTRY AND EGGS

Global information

Albania Information

  1. Export Requirements for Albania

PLANTS, ANIMALS AND ANIMAL RPODUCTS

Global information

Albania Information

  1. U.S. Plant and Plant Product Export Services
  2. U.S. Animal Export Regulations for Albania
  3. U.S. Animal Product Export for Albania

PROCESSED FOOD AND BEVERAGE

SEAFOOD, FISH AND FISHERY PRODUCTS

Global information

Albania Information

  1. Export Requirements to non-EU Countries
  2. List of NOAA Approved Establishments

ALCOHOL AND BEVERAGES

Global Information

Albania information

  1. International Export Requirements

ANIMAL FEED AND ANIMAL DRUGS

TRADE SHOWS

AGRICULTURAL, PRODUCTION, TRADE AND MARKETING REPORTS

GENERAL GUIDANCE ON HOW TO EXPORT U.S. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS