Friday, September 18, 2009

Albania Looks To The Euro To Increase Trade

Post Election Promises to Stabilise Currency
Shipping News Feature

ALBANIA – The country’s trade is being badly affected by the decrease in the value of the Lek against the Euro. This is the belief of Prime Minister Sali Berisha who wishes to commence negotiations with the European Central Bank.

The proposals however are likely to meet resistance within the eurozone as many countries believe that is precisely the decline of local currencies adjacent to the region which has encouraged the strength of the euro. Albania currently trades principally with Italy, Greece and Montenegro, all in or applying for membership plus Kosovo which unilaterally adopted the currency.

The monetary imbalance is adversely affecting importers in Albania and even exporters and suppliers who need to take loans, which are almost invariably in Euros. Seventy percent of monies borrowed by commercial organisations in the country are believed to be in Euros.

At the same time revenue earned abroad has dropped by over six percent in the past year. Set against this however is the growing strength of tourism in the region despite some bad press as a result of the recent earthquakes. The relationship with European partners seems to be strengthening particularly the traditional trade relationship which exists with Italy.