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Albania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1912, but was conquered by Italy in 1939 and occupied by Germany in 1943. Communist partisans took over the country in 1944. Albania allied itself first with the USSR (until 1960), and then with China (to 1978). In the early 1990s, Albania ended 46 years of xenophobic communist rule and established a multiparty democracy. The transition has proven challenging as successive governments have tried to deal with high unemployment, widespread corruption, dilapidated infrastructure, powerful organized crime networks, and combative political opponents.


Southeastern Europe, bordering the Adriatic Sea and Ionian Sea, between Greece to the south and Montenegro and Kosovo to the north

Natural Resources

petroleum, natural gas, coal, bauxite, chromite, copper, iron ore, nickel, salt, timber, hydropower, arable land

Population - distribution

a fairly even distribution, with somewhat higher concentrations of people in the western and central parts of the country

Albanian 98.8% (official - derived from Tosk dialect), Greek 0.5%, other 0.6% (including Macedonian, Romani, Vlach, Turkish, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian), unspecified 0.1% (2011 est.)
TIRANA (capital) 454,000 (2015)
Conventional long form
Republic of Albania
Conventional short form
Local long form
Republika e Shqiperise
Local short form
parliamentary republic
Geographic coordinates
41 19 N, 19 49 E
Time difference
UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time
+1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Albania, a formerly closed, centrally-planned state, is a developing country with a modern open-market economy. Albania managed to weather the first waves of the global financial crisis but, the negative effects of the crisis caused a significant economic slowdown. Since 2014, Albania’s economy has steadily improved and economic growth is projected to increase to 3.8% in 2017. However, close trade, remittance, and banking sector ties with Greece and Italy make Albania vulnerable to spillover effects of possible debt crises and weak growth in the euro zone.
External debt stocks
US$ 8,269,240,000
Total tax rate (% of commercial profits)
Real Interest Rate
Manufacturing, value added (% of GDP)
Current Account Balance
US$ -1,142,453,329
Labor Force, Total
Employment in Agriculture
Employment in Industry
Employment in Services
Unemployment Rate
Imports of goods and services
US$ 5,436,290,838
Exports of goods and services
US$ 3,427,769,238
Total Merchandise Trade
FDI, net inflows
US$ 1,087,538,658
Commercial Service Exports
US$ 2,610,535,085
wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, olives and olive oil, grapes; meat, dairy products; sheep and goats
food; footwear, apparel and clothing; lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, mining, basic metals, hydropower
apparel and clothing, footwear; asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil; cement and construction materials, vegetables, fruits, tobacco
Italy 43.3%, Kosovo 9.8%, US 7.7%, China 6.2%, Greece 5.3%, Spain 4.8% (2015)
machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals
Italy 33.4%, China 10%, Greece 9%, Turkey 6.7%, Germany 5.2% (2015)
Country Risk Rating
A very uncertain political and economic outlook and a business environment with many troublesome weaknesses can have a significant impact on corporate payment behavior. Corporate default probability is high.
Business Climate Rating
The business environment is difficult. Corporate financial information is often unavailable and when available often unreliable. Debt collection is unpredictable. The institutional framework has many troublesome weaknesses. Intercompany transactions run major risks in the difficult environments rated C.
  • Candidate for accession to the European Union
  • Youthful profile of the population
  • Mineral (oil, chronium, copper, iron-nickel, silicates, coal) and hydroelectric potential
  • Low energy deficit
  • Coastline with several ports
  • Strength of the currency, the lek, against the euro
  • Size of grey economy (30 to 40%)
  • Poverty (per capita GDP = 30% of the European average), low priority is given to education (3% of GDP)
  • Dependence on rainfall: agriculture (23% of GDP and 45% of jobs) and hydroelectricity (95% of electricity production)
  • Poor transport infrastructure
  • Ineffective and politicized court system and administration
  • Corruption and organized crime

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