The leaders and members of the Investment and Trade Committee at the American Chamber of Commerce have met with the Director of AIDA, Mrs. Laura Saro, to discuss the best ways of institutional cooperation to improve the climate for foreign investments. Both organizations are pivotal in attracting foreign investments, and AmCham firmly believes that fostering cooperation with AIDA holds special significance in expanding American investor presence in the country.
During the meeting, AIDA’s Director, Laura Saro, provided insights into the organization’s efforts. AIDA serves as a bridge between the government and businesses, working to disseminate and influence best practices that entice foreign investments into the country. AIDA is an active participant in a task force dedicated to crafting a new Strategic Investment Law that must be attuned to contemporary needs. AIDA faces numerous challenges, dealing with complex macroeconomic issues within the country, which makes promoting investments more arduous. In response, the newly appointed Director of AIDA has devised a concrete plan to catalog all significant sectoral projects and present them to potential investors through promotional events held outside Albania.
To encourage a collaborative effort, Adrian Shehu, Chairman of the Investment Committee, has advocated for the development of a comprehensive work plan that would involve experts from both institutions. This collaborative, long-term approach is expected to have a substantial impact on the investment climate in the region.
Edlira Muka, Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce, contributed constructively to the discussion. She highlighted certain issues that need resolution on AIDA’s part, particularly concerning the potential and capacity of the institution. This adjustment is crucial to place AIDA on par with its counterparts in the region. Muka emphasized that Albania should not be portrayed as a small nation on the global stage but as an integral part of a large regional market. This shift in perspective should already be the approach taken with investors. It is crucial that specific efforts are directed toward well-established brands that operate in neighboring countries but have yet to enter the Albanian market. Improved and more efficient coordination of information is imperative to assist investors who may not necessarily require strategic status or face property-related issues in their investments. They should be shielded from bureaucracy and unnecessary delays while being directed to the relevant authorities.
Neritan Mullaj, the Executive Director of AmCham, responded to the suggestion of assessing businesses’ needs. He addressed concerns raised during meetings with potential investors considering Albania as their investment destination. Their primary concern lies in the implementation of the law and the timely processing of licenses, permits, or recognition as a strategic investor. Businesses often encounter bureaucratic hurdles that impede their investment endeavors, not to mention other fiscal and regulatory challenges. At a macro level, these issues have been incorporated into the Investment Agenda of the American Chamber, with expectations of greater consideration for their recommendations.
The meeting with AIDA representatives was an opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas on how both institutions can make their collaboration more effective. Adrian Shehu, the Chairman of the Investment Committee, presented a specific proposal for a joint action plan between AIDA and AmCham. This plan aims to identify business needs and is designed for long-term engagement, with the ultimate goal of significantly enhancing the investment climate.
Moreover, there was discussion about organizing an event in the USA known as a “Study Visit in the USA.” This event would involve the participation of AmCham chapters in the region, with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce and AIDA. The event is expected to provide an excellent platform for presenting the benefits and opportunities that the region offers to American investors.