Albania (orthographic projection)

Albania, member of NATO and the World Trade Organisation is moving towards a free market economy and striving valiantly to shake off its reputation as an unwelcoming and austere centrally planned state. The service sector accounts for around 50 percent of the economy and agriculture and industry contribute to the balance in approximately equal measure. Tourism is becoming important and Albanian leisure offerings are now well received (with close to four million visitors each year and annual revenues heading for the two billion euros mark). The country was not initially affected too badly by the global financial crisis but there was an economic slowdown in the years that followed. There has been real improvement during the past few years but worries about poor economic performance in countries such as Greece and Italy (which have close trading, banking and remittance relationships with Albania) persist. There is always the risk of Albania catching a cold if one of these countries should sneeze. Albania faces a raft of challenges it must rise to before levels of foreign direct investment can be expected to rise substantially (the judicial system is cranky, infrastructure needs to be radically overhauled, corruption is everywhere and generally the business environment is less than friendly. Some progress is being made thanks to government determination to press ahead with law and financial reforms but much still needs to be done. Agriculture (a large consumer of labour but proportionately lower contributor to GDP) remains largely in the hands of smallholders and is grossly inefficient - which is no surprise given the insecurity experienced by farmers as the necessary local and central government support is nowhere near adequate. Government is grappling with the problems of an uneven electricity supply and working for a better road and rail network — which are prerequisites for sustainable economic growth.

Its population in 2018 was 2,934,363 [1]

In 2015, 38.62% of its total energy
consumption was renewable [2]

In 2021, its GDP grew by 8.54% [2]

In 2021 it had a negative Current
Account Balance of US$bn 1.40 [3]

Its unemployment rate in 2021 was 10.60% [3]

What free trade areas or economic unions is it a member of?

Member of the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) since 05/06/1998

Other members:

Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Serbia, Türkiye, Ukraine

What trade deals are there between Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and other countries and economic unions?


What trade deals are there with other countries and economic unions?

Central European Free Trade Agreement (from 01/05/2007)

Türkiye - Albania free trade agreement (from 01/05/2008)

EU - Albania Stabilisation and Association Agreement (from 01/04/2009)

EFTA - Albania Free Trade Agreement (from 01/10/2011)

UK - Albania free trade agreement (from 03/05/2021)

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Trade with the United Kingdom

Source: UK Office for National Statistics, October 2022.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.