Economy overview: Exceptionally poor by European standards, Albania is now undergoing a difficult transition to a more open market economy. In 1993-95. there was a revival of the economy after the severe depression that accompanied the collapse of the old central planning system in 1990-91. However, the weakening of the government’s resolve to pursue a course of stabilization in 1996 (an election year) led to a new round of inflation due to a large budget deficit, which exceeded 12% of GDP. At the beginning of 1997, the financial pyramid collapsed, in which a significant part of the Albanians made contributions, which resulted in violent unrest that claimed more than 1,500 lives and led to a drop in GDP by 7%. The government has taken steps to curb crime and stimulate economic activity and trade. The economy is supported by remittances to their homeland from 20% of Albanians, working abroad, mainly in Greece and Italy. These transfers replenish the GDP and help offset the huge foreign trade deficit. In 1992, most of the land suitable for agriculture was privatized, which significantly increased the income of the peasantry. In 1998, Albania reversed the effects of a 7% drop in GDP in 1997, and in 1999 it grew by 7.5%. International support has eased the burden of the high costs of accepting and repatriating refugees from Kosovo. Some progress was made in 2000 with privatization, but other reforms are lagging behind. which significantly increased the income of the peasantry. In 1998, Albania reversed the effects of a 7% drop in GDP in 1997, and in 1999 it grew by 7.5%. International support has eased the burden of the high costs of accepting and repatriating refugees from Kosovo. Some progress was made in 2000 with privatization, but other reforms are lagging behind. which significantly increased the income of the peasantry. In 1998, Albania reversed the effects of a 7% fall in GDP in 1997, and in 1999 it grew by 7.5%. International support has eased the burden of the high costs of accepting and repatriating refugees from Kosovo. Some progress was made in 2000 with privatization, but other reforms are lagging behind. See businesscarriers.com to know more about Albania Economics and Business.
GDP: Purchasing Power Parity $10.5 billion (2000 est.)
Real GDP growth rate: 7.5% (2000 est.).
GDP per capita: Purchasing Power Parity $3,000 (2000 est.).
The composition of GDP by sectors of the economy: agriculture: 55%; industry: 24%; services: 21% (2000).
Proportion of population below the poverty line: 19.6% (1996 est.).
Percentage distribution of household income or consumption: for the poorest 10% of households: n/a; 10% of the wealthiest families: no data.
Inflation rate at consumer prices: 1% (2000 OTs.).
Work force: 1.692 million people (including 352,000 emigrant workers and 261,000 domestic unemployed) (1994 est.).
Employment structure: agriculture 50%, industry and services 50%.
Unemployment rate: officially 16% (2000 est.), may actually be as high as 25%.
Budget: revenues: $393 million; expenditures: $676 million, including capital expenditures – NA (1997 est.).
Spheres of economy: food industry, textile industry and garments; wood production, oil production, cement production, chemicals, mining, metallurgy, hydropower.
Growth in industrial production: 9% (2000 est.).
Electricity generation: 5.332 billion kWh (1999)
Sources of electricity generation: fossil fuels: 3.81%; hydropower: 96.19%; nuclear fuel: 0%; others: 0% (1999).
Electricity consumption: 5.379 billion kWh (1999)
Electricity export: 100 million kWh (1999).
Electricity import: 600 million kWh (2000).
Agricultural products: wheat, corn, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, sugar beets, grapes; meat, dairy products.
Export: $310 million (free on board, 200 est.).
Export articles: textiles and footwear; bitumen, metals and metal ores, crude oil; vegetables, fruits, tobacco.
Export partners: Italy 67%, Greece 15%, Germany 5%, Austria 2%, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2% (2000).
Imports: $1 billion (free on board, 2000 est.)
Import articles: machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles, chemicals.
Import partners: Italy 37%, Greece 28%, Turkey 6%, Germany 6%, Bulgaria 3% (2000).
External debt: $1 billion (2000). Recipient of economic assistance: no data; Energy assistance is provided by China, Germany, Norway (1999).
Donor of economic aid:
Currency code: ALL.
Exchange rate: ALL/USD – 146.08 (December 2000), 143.71 (2000), 137.69 (1999), 150.63 (1998), 148.93 (1997), 104.50 (1996).
Fiscal year: calendar year.
Telecommunications Telephone lines: 87,000 (1997).
Mobile Cell Phones: 3,100 (1999).
Telephone system: the lowest level of telephone penetration in Europe (less than 2 telephones per 100 inhabitants); not every village has a telephone; internal: obsolete cable system no longer connecting to every village; in 1992, after the fall of the communist regime, the peasants in about a thousand villages cut the wires and used them to build fences; international: imperfect; international communication is carried out using a microwave radio link from the Tirana switchboard through Italy and Greece.
Broadcast stations: AM -16, FM -3, shortwave -2 (1999).
Radio receivers: 810,000 (1997).
Television broadcast stations: 9 (and 264 repeaters) (1995).
Televisions: 405,000 (1997).
Internet country code: al
Internet service providers: 7 (2000).
Number of users: 2,500 (2000).
Transport Railways: total: 447 km; with standard gauge: 447 km (1.435 m gauge) (2001).
Roads: total: 18,000 km; coated: 5,400 km; unpaved: 12,600 km (1998 est.).
Waterways: 43 km, including the Albanian sectors of Skadar, Ohrid and Pre-spa lakes (1990).
Pipelines: for crude oil -145 km; for oil products -55 km; for natural gas -64 km (1991).
Ports and harbors: Vpera, Durres, Saranda, Shen-gini.
Merchant fleet: total: 9 vessels (displacement of 1,000 tons or more) with a total displacement of 17,797 tons / 26,324 long tons of gross tonnage; ships of different types: cargo ships -9 (2000 est.).
Airports: 11 (2000 est.).
Airports with paved runways: total: 3; from 2433 to 3047 m: 3 (2000 est.).
Airports with unpaved runways: total: 8; over 3,047 m: 1; from 1524 to 2437 m: 1; from 914 to 1523 m:2; less than 914 m: 4 (2000 est.). Helipads: 1 (2000 est.).
Branches of the armed forces: army, navy, air force and air defense forces, internal troops, border troops.
Conscription age: 19 pet.
Total military manpower: men 15 to 49 pets: 870,768 (2001 est.).
Eligible for military service: males aged 15 to 49: 712,463 (2001 est.).
Number of persons reaching military age each year: male: 35,792 (2001 est.).
Military spending in dollar terms: $42 million (1999)
Military spending as part of GDP: 1.5% (1999).
International issues International disputes: The Albanian government supports the rights of ethnic Albanians living outside the country, but it has relaxed demands in order to achieve its main foreign policy goal – regional cooperation; the Albanian majority in Kosovo seeks independence from Yugoslavia; the Albanian population of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia claims discrimination in education, public sector jobs and representation in government.
Illicit drugs: an extremely busy staging post for opiates, hashish and cannabis from Southwest Asia transiting the Balkans to Western Europe, is much less used for transiting cocaine from South America; limited production of opium and hemp; drug trafficking organizations made up of ethnic Albanians are active and rapidly spreading across Europe.