Debate with Prime Minister Sali Berisha and other ministers of government on the business environment and investment in Albania at Economist Conferencesâ€™ Third Business Roundtable with the Government of Albania
The Third Business Roundtable with the Government of Albania today, organized by Economist Conferences, brought together senior government leaders and top-level corporate speakers to debate current and future government policies. Prime Minister Sali Berisha addressed the local and international business community, gathered for this important annual event. He said â€œMy Government has decided to adopt the best business practices but we are still not where we should be. We have obstacles to remove.â€
In his presentation, Mr. Berisha outlined his governmentâ€™s achievements over the past three years, including tax reductions and increased foreign direct investment. The Prime Minister also said that Albaniaâ€™s expected NATO membership in 2009 â€œwill have an enormous encouraging effect on foreign investment in Albania.â€
Senior executives from Albania and international companies attended the Roundtable. They discussed the economic and business environment in Albania, and plans and forecasts for the future, with the government and with experts from The Economist Group.
Specific issues addressed in the open session with Prime Minister Sali Berisha were:
Government priorities toward business ahead of the 2009 election
Can investors have faith in the rule of law?
""Albania one euro"": is it attracting foreign investors?
Progress report on Albania's EU integration
Is Albania's international image getting better?
Oliver J. Whittle, Chief Executive Officer, Raiffeisen Bank Albania also joined the panel. He said â€œIt is appropriate that Raiffeisen Bank is again the lead sponsor of this Economist Conference. Raiffeisen Bank is by far the largest bank in Albania. It is coincidentally also one of the two main banks in Kosovo. We are well positioned to take advantage of any business opportunity in Albania. Because of our capitalâ€™s strong liquid position and our balance sheet we are able to satisfy the requirements of large businesses and potential international investors in Albania.â€
Richard Eames, Conferences Programme Director, CEMEA, The Economist Group said â€œAlbania will face a slightly tougher year in 2009 because of global financial problems and slower growth worldwide, but we are not forecasting a major slowdown in Albania.â€
The afternoon started with discussions with Genc Ruli, Minister of Economy, Energy and Trade on challenges and risks the business environment of Albania is facing.
The conference continued with a panel discussion on HR in Albania and closed with a session about debt, taxes and financial services with Ridvan Bode, Minister of Finance, and Ardian Fullani, Governor of the Bank of Albania.
Other participants in the discussions included:
Myqerem Tafaj, Advisor to the Prime Minister
Philip Bay, Regional Director Southeast Europe, Colliers
Daniel Berg, Head of Albania Office, EBRD
Ann-Margret Westin, Resident Representative, IMF Resident Mission in Albania
Cristian Cring, General Manager, JTI
Samir Mane, President, Mane TCI
Fisnik Ismaili, Executive Creative Director, Ogilvy Albania & Kosovo
Robert Bosch,Head of the OSCE presence in Albania,OSCE
Bianca Duro, Managing Director, Dr. Pendl & Dr. Piswanger Albania
Gulden Turkoz-Cosslett, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Albania
Lead sponsor of this Roundtable was Raiffeisen. The conference was also sponsored by Dr. Pendl & Piswanger, JTI and Boga & Associates. The conference is also supported by PR agency Comport