Greek and Italian companies, a vital source of business in the country

Greek and Italian companies, a vital source of business in the country
Greece and Italy are both known as Albania’s main trade partners for three decades in a row. Even to this day, they continue to offer an important contribution for private business in Albania, thanks to the existence of a high number of companies from these two countries. This phenomenon is also confirmed by the recent official data issued by Albanian authorities, according to which, businesses from these two neighboring countries, not only account for the largest number of foreign businesses in the country, but at the same time, they employ more people, export more abroad and make more purchases through imports. “For 2016, the largest number of foreign and jointly owned companies is Italian and Greek.

They account for 56.5% of the total of the number of companies in the country; they are responsible for 60.5% of employment, 61.1% of exports and 47.5% of imports”, the Institute of Statistics says about this. Meanwhile, this institution also says that last year, Italian companies have realized 25% of the total number of sales made by foreign companies in Albania and employed half of the people who work in them (49.6%). As far as Greece is concerned, at least one in ten people, or 10.9%, who work for foreign companies in Albania, work for Greek companies. Meanwhile, these companies make 13.2% of the total number of sales that foreign businesses make in our country throughout the year. In this aspect, it can easily be seen through a statistical comparison that the role that Greek or Italian companies play in the Albanian economy is still important. Companies from these two countries cannot be rivaled by other important trade partners of our country, such as Turkey. “Turkey accounts of 10.4% of employment and 12.5% of net sales”, experts of INSTAT say about this country. Furthermore, they explain that last year, there were 522 Greek companies in our country. 314 of them were entirely Greek, while 208 of them had joint capital. As far as Italy is concerned, experts say that out of a total of 2.662 companies operating in Albania, 1.850 of them were entirely Italian, while 812 were Italian-Albanian companies.

Greeks excel in transport and telecommunication, Italians in construction

 “Big foreign and jointly owned companies are mainly focused on economic activities such as call centers, manufacturing of shoes and banking activities”. This is confirmed by experts of the Institute of Statistics, regarding divisions of sectors where foreign companies operating in our country exert their activity, going into detail about the two countries which have the largest number of companies in our country, Greece and Italy. So, according to INSTAT, the majority of Greek companies operating in Albania are focused in the sector of “transport and telecommunication”, namely 33% of them. The following sector is “trade”, where 11.7% of them operate in this sector. Meanwhile, 39.8% of Italian companies in Albania operate in construction while, 28.6% of them operate in trade.

Number of foreign companies is going down

The number of foreign companies operating in Albania is going down. This is shown by the latest figures of the Institute of Statistics, according to which, at the end of last year, the number of foreign and jointly owned companies fell by 5.1% compared to 2015. “In 2016, foreign companies and jointly owned companies operating in Albania was 5.637, while at the end of 2015, they were 5.939, registering a fall of 5.1%”, INSTAT says.  Furthermore, the Institute of Statistics explains that companies which have 100% foreign capital account for 71.4% of the total number of foreign and jointly owned companies in the country, while jointly owned companies, where foreign capital dominates, account for 14% of them. In other words, around two thirds of foreign companies operating in our country have no Albanian capital. “In 2016, companies originating from the European Union account for 2.5% of active companies and 70% of foreign and jointly owned companies”, experts of INSTAT say, adding that companies originating from Western Balkans account for 10.9% of the total, while companies originating from other countries account for 19.1%.


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