The first sector of greatest investment interest in Albania is the energy sector (electricity and gas). In the last twenty years this sector has been the subject of major developments, both thanks to the opening to the market of concessions for the renewal and / or construction of new plants, and thanks to the promotion and investment policies on renewable energy.
To date, although most of the electricity comes from hydroelectric sources , there is also an increase in renewable energy sources such as photovoltaic and wind.
Albania also has a large hydrocarbon reserve.
Furthermore, it is part of the Trans-Adriatic gas pipeline project (called TAP) which will allow the inflow of natural gas throughout Western Europe.
The other ever growing and most interesting investment sector is the textile and clothing sector, given the long tradition of textile and manufacturing processes in the country.
In addition, the low cost of labor, as well as the exemption from VAT and customs duties for some products have meant that this sector has attracted strong interest from foreign investors. Just think of the fact that the footwear and textile sectors make up most of the exports between Albania and Italy.
Another important investment sector is real estate, relating to the construction and improvement of existing infrastructures.
The improvement of all public (and private) structures has been one of the main objectives of the government under the “One billion project financing” program and, to date, after the November 2019 earthquake that hit the districts of Durres and Tirana , the Albanian government has adopted new reconstruction plans providing numerous tax breaks (and not only) aimed at the reconstruction of the aforementioned cities.
Furthermore, with regard to the Albanian coastal areas, in the near future an increase in requests for concessions from foreign investors for the construction of tourist resorts and luxury structures is expected.
In this regard, it should be noted that as of January 2018, the ten-year tax exemption of infrastructure taxes on new construction of 4 * and 5 * hotels are provided as incentives.
In the recent strategic plan drawn up by the Albanian Ministry of Tourism, certain priorities are listed for the development of the tourism sector in Albania during the period 2018-2022, namely: the diversification of the tourist offer, the improvement of services through the development of human resources, the promotion of Albania as an ideal destination during all periods of the year and, finally, the attraction and stimulation of private and public investments.
Finally, another interesting investment sector is the agricultural and agro-industrial one . It is one of the most significant of the Albanian economy, in fact it plays a crucial role in the economic and social development of the country, contributing to the formation of the GDP with about 20%.
Italy competes with a leading role in the economic development of Albania.
Official data confirm that Italy has traditionally been, and continues to be, the first trading partner of Albania (37% of Albania’s trade with the ‘abroad).
The demand for Made in Italy products is huge and is characterized by a constant tendency of the Albanian consumer to turn their attention to the Italian food and technological product, often purchased in the context of businesses conducted in collaboration with Italian companies.
From the point of view of Italian companies, interest in neighboring Albania is strong because it is perceived as the “Gateway to the Balkans”, also with reference to the opening of a territorial marketing that goes beyond the borders of Albania itself.
Moreover, commercial penetration in neighboring countries where the Albanian language is widespread is also easy for entrepreneurs operating in Albania, especially in Kosovo and Macedonia.
The main elements of attraction towards Albania, which animate the internationalization choices of Italian companies towards the aforementioned country, are therefore: the very high diffusion of the Italian language , the geographical proximity < / strong>, an efficient logistics of maritime transport , land and air , the low cost of labor , the low fiscal cost of the companies incorporated in the area and the favorable climatic conditions that benefit tourism .
The Italian presence in Albania has about 400 small and medium-sized enterprises, active in various sectors of the economy (by way of example, in the fields of energy, construction, infrastructure, textiles and footwear, agro-food).
There is also the presence of large Italian banks, such as Intesa San Paolo.