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Economic Growth and Trade

Language: English
USAID project conducts community outdoor meeting
The USAID funded Diber: Trails and Traditions project organizes community meetings for the Village Development Plans (VDPs) in two pilot touristic villages, Rabdisht and Kercisht, in northern Albania. More than 70 participants (men and women) joined the community meetings in both villages.
Lindita Manga, D2T Project

Albania has made progress since 1992 but still faces considerable economic challenges, including low levels of participation in the formal labor market, limited linkages with external markets, lack of access to capital for key drivers of growth and lingering pockets of intense poverty. Over the past several years, the financial crises of Albania’s neighbors, notably Greece and Italy, has impacted Albania and threatens to reverse the economic and political advances of the last decade and to undermine the country’s fundamental stability.

Albania needs many years of significant, sustained economic growth to approach EU income levels. Since this growth can only be accomplished by a robust, competitive private sector, Albania must create and maintain a business environment free of corruption and volatile politics to grow and prosper and, importantly, to provide jobs for a large and growing youth population. Micro, small, and medium size enterprises (about 99 percent of all enterprises in Albania) are a driving force for job creation and economic growth. Despite some improvements, Albanian private enterprises are still not equipped to respond to international trade and investment opportunities, to enhance the growth of their businesses, and to increase sales in the domestic and export markets.

USAID’s program provides targeted technical assistance that contributes to increased competitiveness, economic growth, and macroeconomic stability that will allow a standard of living in Albania that is more commensurate with greater Europe. Programs provide technical assistance, training, and capacity building with a focus on establishing conditions for growth.  In addition, programs work with financial sector to improve access to capital for key economic drivers, such as small and medium enterprises, farmers and agribusiness. USAID implements projects through local firms and organizations, public-private partnerships, and associations and businesses to leverage funds of development partners, particularly Pre-Accession Assistance, when possible.

CURRENT PROJECTS:

Financial Sector Development
Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance
September 2011– December 2018

This project seeks to strengthen Albania's financial sector and increase public confidence in the banking system to stimulate private sector growth, foreign direct investment, and job creation. The project works with the Bank of Albania to manage risks in the financial sector and the Financial Supervisory Authority to build capital markets as a source of non-bank finance for the private sector.

Smart Capital
Creative Business Solutions
September 2016 – June 2019

The project aims to boost economic growth by facilitating financing, sustainable business investments, and trade in vital sectors of Albanian economy including agriculture, tourism, and environment. The project assists SMEs to prepare loan packages, strengthen record-keeping and accounting practices, develop business plans, and improve marketing and sales. CBS also provides advisory services to banks and financial institutions in order to improve the services offered.

Tourism Investment and Finance Fund
Center for Economic and Business Education
May 2016 – January 2020

The Fund will be the 1st multi-partner, member-owned, nonprofit financial association that will invest in and provide capital to micro establishments operating in Albania’s tourism sector. The Fund will be a multi-partner, member-owned, nonprofit financial association that will provide capital and technical assistance to MSMEs operating in Albania’s tourism sector. The Fund will concentrate efforts to develop the agro-tourism and eco-tourism communities in rural, coastal, and natural and protected areas.

Agrotourism Albania
Fondacion CEED
September 2016 – September 2019

AgroTourism will support the creation of replicable agrotourism models in three northern areas of Albania: Shkodra, Malsi e Madhe, and Puka.  These areas were chosen both for their tourism potential as well as their extreme poverty and need for economic growth and investment.

People First
The Headhunter
September 2016 – September 2018

People First will promote job growth by training and placing employees with the skills demanded by tourism industry in Albania. This project will create partnerships between prospective employees, Vocational Training Centers, and businesses, and thus establish pathways for prospective employees—particularly, for youth and women—to gain skills and enter the workforce.

INTOALBANIA
Creative Business Solutions
March 2017 – March 2020

INTOALBANIA will develop an advanced digital platform, which combined with a smartphone application, promises to become the largest digital marketplace for tourists and local visitors.

Diber: Trails and Traditions
Albanian Local Capacity Development Foundation
March 2017 – March 2020

Diber: Trails and Tradition will advance sustainable, integrated agro-tourism in one of the most economically depressed areas of Albania. It will work to increase employment, particularly for women and youth, and to increase incomes for families involved in the tourism value chain.

Growing Social Businesses
Albanian Yunus Social Business Balkans
January 2016 – January 2019

Through a Public Private Partnership, USAID and Yunus Social Business Albania will work together to promote entrepreneurship and the development of “social businesses” in vulnerable and underserved communities in order to generate lasting and positive social, economic and environmental impact in a financially sustainable way. YSBA will provide Business Development Services (“BDS”) as well as financing to MSMEs with the objective to generate sustainable jobs, income opportunities, and access to basic products and services for the Albanian people.

Development Credit Authority (DCA) Guarantee for Agriculture Lending
ProCredit and BKT Bank
September 2012 – September 2022

USAID in close collaboration with two Albanian Banks - ProCredit and BKT - is implementing a $15 million Loan Portfolio Guarantee Agreement aimed to increase access for farmers and agribusinesses to financial resources which are needed to expand and increase their competitiveness.

Development Credit Authority (DCA) Guarantee for SME Lending
Raiffeisen Bank
September 2005 – September 2019

USAID and Raiffeisen Bank in Albania are implementing a $12 million Loan Portfolio Guarantee Agreement to increase access of small and medium enterprise to financial resources that are needed to expand and diversify their products and services. 

Last updated: September 11, 2018

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