Thank you all for having me this evening. It is a pleasure to join Minister Denaj, Governor Sejko, Andi Ballta, and the other distinguished guests today in celebrating the fifth anniversary of the American Bank of Investments.
Many of you have already heard this before, including at the AmCham General Assembly last week: increasing trade and investment between the United States and Albania is a priority for me.
ABI and NCH Capital are some of the best examples to date of how U.S. investment can succeed in Albania.
Early on in my tenure as Ambassador to Albania, I traveled to New York, where I met with NCH’s Gregory Katz and Sterling Thomas to learn about their investments in the region, including ABI. I hope the experience of ABI thus far will encourage NCH and other American companies to invest more capital in Albania.
In addition to being smart investors, ABI has also proven a good corporate citizen. As a member of AmCham, ABI has sponsored events time and time again.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, ABI stepped up in a significant way. Under Andi Ballta’s leadership, ABI recognized the critical need in the country for emergency medical equipment. Rather than simply waiting for solutions from others, ABI took action. Thanks to the firm, the hospital system has additional ventilators, struggling companies have access to capital, and other donations went to those in need. It is this type of corporate social responsibility that makes me proud to support companies and investments from the United States.
I look forward to working with our Albanian partners in the government and with business leaders like you to make Albania more attractive for U.S. investors. We want our economic relationship to match our strong political bond. I have no doubt ABI will play an important role in this effort.
Congratulation, ABI, on five successful years in Albania. We wish you many more years of success.