Investing in Albania
Albanian law offers foreign investors most-favored nation treatment, qualifying their investments for either an assisted procedure or special procedure depending on the size and number of jobs created through investment.
Albania is a member of the ICSID Convention and meets its minimum standards for fiscal transparency; however, endemic judicial corruption threatens investor protection.
Real estate investment can be one of the best ways to diversify your portfolio, and Albania’s real estate market is thriving with foreign investors looking to take advantage of its stunning coastline and sunny climate. However, understanding local markets in order to avoid making costly mistakes. Furthermore, investing in your neighbourhood could provide greater ease for any issues that may arise during ownership.
Albania has limited foreign direct investment (FDI) due to its weak foreign exchange market and banking system, yet the Government of Albania is taking steps to enhance investment conditions by supporting free capital movement through policies such as ratifying the New York Convention, ICSID Convention, Geneva Convention as well as signing bilateral investment treaties with Switzerland, The Netherlands, Canada and Turkey.
Real estate investment in Albania is the country’s primary focus, and foreign investment in real estate is encouraged through liberal regulations that permit unlimited land ownership and free movement of funds. Albania also boasts an abundance of high quality land as well as an established infrastructure network including communications, energy supply, water & power distribution, transport links and tourism facilities.
Economy has suffered from political instabilities and an absence of structural reforms; however, growth is expected in the short term. Low labor costs and high productivity make the country an attractive location for manufacturers; furthermore, membership of NATO (Europe’s largest military alliance) provides international prestige as well as economic benefits to boost its economic standing and offer further economic gains.
Alongside its natural beauty, South Korea also boasts a rich history and vibrant culture that attract tourists as well as residents alike. Furthermore, home to several renowned universities and business centers that attract students as well as expatriates alike. Finally, real estate prices remain extremely affordable in South Korea.
Investors looking for affordable properties near the coast or major cities will find Albania a promising market. From apartments, villas, commercial properties and agricultural land investments to leasing property for 99 years – investors will have no trouble securing properties of all types here. Furthermore, Albania boasts an advanced infrastructure and educated workforce which makes for an exciting investment environment for investors who seek affordable properties near coast lines or major cities.
Food processing is an economic sector with significant investment potential, contributing 19 percent of GDP and employing one-third of employed individuals in Australia. Growth of this industry is driven by domestic consumer demand as well as greater awareness among people regarding healthy nutrition benefits.
Albania’s food processing industry offers tremendous potential to expand and become more cost-competitive on the international stage, provided its government takes steps to lower operating costs for businesses. Unfortunately, foreign investors have reported challenges doing business in Albania due to widespread corruption, poor governance of public institutions, and limited transparency regarding fiscal laws.
Food processing industry investments in Albania offer excellent returns for both international and local investors alike. Albania boasts a highly-competitive manufacturing base, low labor costs, abundant natural resources, and its convenient geographic location gives investors access to markets in Europe, Africa and Asia.
Albania’s government has initiated several initiatives to enhance the investment climate for businesses, with several reforms designed to strengthen rule of law, fight endemic corruption, and ensure transparent procurement practices; red tape is being reduced while tax incentives are provided as ways to encourage investments.
Foreign investors looking to conduct business activities in Albania can form limited liability companies or joint-venture firms under EU directives and become party to the International Convention for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID Convention), making Albania an ICSID Convention signatory nation; thus enabling foreign investors to include arbitration clauses into contracts with Albanian parties.
Legal systems of most countries in Africa remain effective; however, their rule of law remains weak due to corruption and informal economies that limit economic growth and hamper private sector development. Furthermore, most courts remain ineffective, and cases often take several months before reaching final judgment.
Government established the Strategic Investments Committee (SIC) to review and approve strategic investments. Composed of members such as the prime minister, ministers covering relevant sectors, state advocate, and representatives of Albanian Investors Association AIDA), this body can award assisted or special procedures depending on their size or other criteria for investments projects submitted for review by this body.
Albania’s agriculture sector not only boasts high yields but also benefits from a clean environment, low production costs and easy access to foreign markets. Main export products include fruits, vegetables, olive oil, medicinal and aromatic plants as well as honey; while domestic agro-processing companies often specialize in producing organic goods free from artificial additives and pesticides.
Legal incentives exist within the country’s legal framework to encourage investments in agriculture, including tax exemptions and expedited administrative procedures. Furthermore, the Law on Strategic Investments approved in 2015 provides additional benefits such as reduced taxes and fees depending on the size and number of jobs created from investments; additionally it establishes special privileges for the creation and operation of technological development zones in rural areas known as TEDA statuses.
Investors interested in agricultural activities can acquire land either through public auctions or directly from farmers; however, foreign individuals or incorporated companies cannot purchase agricultural land directly. Instead, land may be leased for up to 99 years exclusively for farming activities (crop production/livestock rearing/processing).
Tirana and its surrounding urban areas account for most agricultural investments in Albania, where abundant water resources and an excellent transport infrastructure combine with suitable soil for cultivating. Meanwhile, most Albanians live in the south, accounting for roughly 25% of GDP in total.
Albania’s banking system is robust and well-capitalized with total assets estimated to total USD 17 billion at the end of 2021. The Bank of Albania (BoA) formulates and adopts foreign exchange policies while playing a supervisory role over foreign exchange activities, based on Law No. 8269 of 2009 and FX Regulation 70 of 2009. BoA remains committed to maintaining free float for local currency lek.
Foreign investment is welcomed in most sectors, with the exception of air passenger transportation and television broadcasting, where foreign ownership can only comprise 49 percent. The government’s investment review mechanism is effective, while there is also a legal regime protecting foreign investments in this country. Unfortunately, judiciary responses tend to be slow, meaning commercial disputes often require multiple years for resolution.
Albania is an incredible country filled with stunning beaches and sparkling waters. With such amazing natural surroundings and climate conditions, Albania makes an excellent location for investing in real estate investments with affordable property prices and attractive rental yields. However, before investing, it is wise to evaluate potential risks before venturing in Albanian real estate investment opportunities.
Albania’s constitution and civil code both protect property rights. The former states that no property may be taken without due process of law; while the latter provides for specific protection of these rights (restitution and actio negatoria claims). Furthermore, according to Albania’s constitution any sale or disposal of immovable properties must follow legal procedures prescribed by law.
As a result, Albania’s real estate market is very stable. Property ownership in Albania is predominantly held by local residents and diaspora Albanians alike; foreign investors have shown an increasing interest in investing here; according to real estate agencies around one-third of buyers from outside Albania are Czechs, Poles and Germans being major groups among these buyers.
Albania was long known for being a producer of illegal drugs; today it ranks first among Europe in producing cannabis. Although this industry may no longer provide such lucrative returns as it once did, it does provide jobs for young people while contributing foreign exchange into the economy and supporting local businesses which specialize in producing marijuana locally and exporting it outwards to Western markets.
Albania stands out among European nations by boasting low real estate taxes and sales tax rates, no restrictions for foreign investments in property markets and a lack of regulations in the real estate sector.
Vlore in southern Albania has recently become an attractive investment target among international real estate investors, drawing them in with its deep blue waters and stunning coastline. Tourists from all over Europe flock here every year, increasing demand for apartments within Vlore.