US State Dept slashes Albania’s investment climate due to endemic corruption

TIRANA, July 6  — Albania’s investment climate remains problematic and this is why the country is perceived as a difficult place to do business, says a report of the United States Department of State.

“Despite the governments stated desire to attract foreign direct investment, corruption in Albania is endemic, particularly in the judiciary,” State Department said in its Investment Climate Statements for 2017.

Reports of corruption in government procurement are commonplace, it noted.

According to this report, the implementation of the reform of the judicial system has begun, but the sanctity of contract and respect for private property remain low.

Report showed that investors reported ongoing concerns that regulators use difficult-to-interpret or inconsistent legislation and regulations as tools to dissuade foreign investors and favor politically connected companies.

Regulations and laws governing business activity change frequently and without meaningful consultation with the business community. Major foreign investors report pressure to hire specific, politically connected subcontractors, report cited.

According to the U.S. State Department investments report, several U.S. companies complained last year that they were disqualified from public tenders despite offering the lowest qualified bid, only to see the government award the contract to a local company.

On the other hand, the report highlighted that energy and power, water supply and sewerage, road and rail, mining, and information communication technology represented the best prospects for foreign direct investment in Albania over the next several years.

Copyright2 017 Tirana Echo

 

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