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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 6,124 4,695 4,100 109
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,740 1,380 1,340 120
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Albania

Update No: 159 - (27/08/10)

Albania in the spotlight
Everything changed for Albania in 1999, when it suddenly became the centre of world politics.

For aficionados of geopolitics, it had always been an interesting place. It is a mountainous country that borders the Adriatic, that itself debouches onto the Mediterranean, which in turn flows into the Atlantic. A romantic itinerary, if ever the was one, with a massive history to its credit.

In January 1999 Slobodan Milosevic, President of Yugoslavia, launched a war to retain Kosovo, a province of his country indeed, to which US President Clinton strongly objected. Albania was the launch pad for the resulting war. It was duly won.

Hell-bent Albania
Albania became a member of the World Bank in 1991. Since then, 68 projects totalling $1.4 billion (€1.09 billion) have been supported by IDA and IBRD, and 10 projects totalling $185 million (€144 million) by IFC.

The World Bank will finance up to $275 million (€214 million) from the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development, IBRD, and up to $150 million (€116 million) from the IFC over the next four years in Albania.

“Albania is a development success story in many respects, having made remarkable strides in economic and social development over the past decade,” said Jane Armitage, World Bank Country Director and Regional Coordinator for Southeast Europe. “The new Country Partnership Strategy aims to support a recovery in Albania’s growth rates through improving competitiveness, while also improving education and health services and strengthening the safety net,” Armitage added.

The new strategy will also assist Tirana in meeting the new challenge of climate change, through improving water conservation and management and increasing disaster preparedness.

A new contra-cyclical success story
Over the past decade, the former Communist country, Albania, has been one of the fastest-growing countries in Europe, with average annual growth rates of six per cent, accompanied by rapid reductions in poverty.

Albania is one of a very few countries in Europe to maintain positive growth rates and financial stability in 2009 during the throes of the global financial and economic crisis.

Going forward, Albania, in particular, faces a number of important challenges on account of the slower recovery in Europe and the uncertainties facing the Greek economy – a major economic partner. “We are building on the previous successful cooperation of IBRD-IFC joint interventions in critical sectors, such as energy,” said George Konda, a senior economist at IFC.

The new strategy will support Albania’s development and help with key challenges, such as: consolidating its fiscal position to be able to weather the coming years; further improving the efficiency of public spending while addressing the still large infrastructure needs; improving the implementation of regulatory and institutional reforms to boost competitiveness and investment; raising education levels and skills to meet the demand from businesses; and strengthening social safety nets and key health services to ensure that the poor are protected from economic fluctuations.


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