ECONOMY

Tirana will set up an agency to attract foreign investment

TIRANA (SeeNews) – Albania’s government said it would establish an agency in charge of attracting foreign investments, promoting domestic companies abroad and backing private sector initiatives as part of a larger plan to improve the business climate in the country. According to a statement, the National Business Agency would implement programs for the development of the private sector, promote Albania’s investment opportunities abroad, lure foreign investments, support small and medium-sized enterprises and boost domestic production and exports, the government said. Improving the climate for doing business in one of the poorest countries of Europe is a key pledge of Albania’s center-right government, led by Prime Minister Sali Berisha, which came to power in the July 3, 2005, general election. Last October, the government set up an ad-hoc task force to work out steps for improving the business climate in the country by 2009. Allegedly widespread corruption in administration bodies, frequent power cuts, excessive red tape and frequent changes in regulations were listed as major holdbacks for doing business in the ex-communist country, a government-sponsored survey showed last month.