Vienna, Austria (19 January, 2017) – On 17-18 January 2017, Euromoney Conferences, in its 22nd installment of its Central and Eastern Europe Forum, was attended by over 1,000 policymakers, corporate leaders, financiers and investors. Often described as one of the best networking events for anyone with an interest in Central and Eastern Europe, The Forum was an excellent opportunity for the investors and policy makers, from both inside and outside the region, to gather and share insights, as well as discuss the outlook for the CEE economies in the year ahead.

Banka Kombëtare Tregtare, sponsored and organized for the second consecutive year, the Albania Roundtable “Albania’s Progression Towards Becoming the Fastest Growing Economy in the Balkans for 2017”, with the participation of Minister of Finance, H.E Arben Ahmetaj, First Deputy Governor of Bank of Albania, Ms. Elisabeta Gjoni, President of Black Sea Trade & Development Bank, Mr. Ihsan Ugur Delikanli and BKT CEO and Board Member, Mr Seyhan Pencabligil.

During the roundtable, Mr. Pencabligil, made a short overview of some Albania’s economic and financial indicators, showing optimism about the last improvements and positive developments in the country. He was positive about the banking system, having a capitalized adequacy ratio of nearly 16%, and highlighted the latest initiative of Albania government, Public Private Partnership (PPP), promoted by Prime Minister, Mr. Rama, recently talking about a pipeline of PPP-s in a value of nearly 1 billion euro in the next 3 years, which the Albanian banking system is ready to embrace and finance.

The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ahmetaj, confirmed that Albania has entered a long positive economic trend, predicting a 3.7-3.8% of GDP growth in the 2017, strongly believing that through PPP’s instruments, mainly in the sectors of infrastructure, education and health, the country will reach a different level and go up to 6% of GDP growth. He continued listing some of the most important reforms started from the actual government in different areas as energy, territorial, public administration, business climate and justice. He invited the foreign investors, underlining that the foreign direct investments (FDI) in Albania are 9.2% of GDP, which is a record compared to some of the region countries, and highlighting the progress made from Albania in the international rankings as doing business and paying taxes reports.

The First Deputy Governor of Bank of Albania, Ms. Gjoni, focused on explaining the main trends of the recent progress in Albania, the growth drivers and the outlook of the Albanian economy in the year to come. She underlined that Albania has been one of the better performers in the region, both before and after the crisis, analyzing the main pillars of the growth drivers.  She added that the outlook for Albania is stable in medium terms, being in a positive trajectory and on a clear path of EU convergence. She concluded saying that the reforms and policies undertaken from the government will pay the way for the progression of Albania towards becoming faster growing country in the region.

Mr. Delikanli, added that Albania was one of the countries of the Black Sea region showing a positive trend despite of the neighbor state environment in the years of crisis. He underlined the strong partnership between Albania and Black Sea Trade & Development Bank (BSTDB), emphasizing that there is still room for improvement and on the 2015- 2018, BSTDB intends to provide approximately more than € 100 million. He continued, showing the BSTDB readiness to be involved in the financing of PPP projects, having a similar experience in other countries like Turkey and Greece.

The roundtable was very successful, gaining the attention of all the participants with questions toward the panelists. Furthermore, the investors and financial institutions from Albania who attended the conference had a great opportunity to meet with representatives from different countries, exchanging insights about current financial situations in their markets and setting up business relationships.

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