Presidenti i Republikës së Shqipërisë

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Statement from the President of the Republic, H.E.Mr. Bajram Begaj, at San Demetrio Corone with the entrepreneurial community of the “Lions Club Arbëria” business association

Dear members of the Lions Club Arbëria,

 Ladies and gentlemen,

 Thank you for the invitation! I am delighted to meet with this region’s business representatives during my first visit to Arbëria of Calabria, a magnificent region with hospitable Arbëreshpeople. 

I welcomed the opportunity to meet with you since one of the objectives of my visit here, in the Region of Calabria, is to assess all possibilities to promote economic and trade cooperation between Albania’s regions and the Region of Calabria. 

I hosted Commissioner Ernesto Madeo and several mayors of Arbëresh villages in Tirana this year in March (March 23, 2023), where we mainly focused on economic cooperation.

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Distinguished friends,

We can promote and expand your activities in Albania by utilising your reputation as distinguished entrepreneurs and producers known globally for the “Made in Italy” brand. This will broaden the perspectives of your companies to new economic and trade opportunities. 

I invite you to consider Albania a friendly prospect for future endeavours and businesses. We can explore together new cooperative opportunities that benefit both your companies and Albanian ones. 

Obviously, there has already been a fruitful experience in this direction, and we have had intensive economic and trade cooperation with the Region of Calabria for years. However, if we work together, we can take it even further in tangible terms.

Over the past decade, we’ve undertaken reforms for democratisation and a free-market economy governed by the rule of law. Despite challenges, we are developing and strengthening our political and economic institutions to attract foreign capital, boost investments, and achieve economic growth.

Within this framework, it becomes crucial to establish institutional pathways that support the most significant sectors for companies in your region interested in embarking on entrepreneurial ventures in Albania, considering Albania’s geographic proximity, cultural ties, and labour cost. 

We are not asking for relocating your businesses but instead the opening of operational offices that can benefit from the significant advantages related to investments, production, and tax incentives the Albanian system can offer. 

The Albanian economy is growing rapidly, but there is a continuous need for support, especially regarding knowledge. Knowledge and the spread of the Italian language in our country can significantly facilitate the process of training and skill transfer.

Albania has solid economic growth, aligns well with your production system, and offers various growth dimensions for those looking to invest or initiate an entrepreneurial and productive path, not just regarding taxes and investment incentives but also regarding security. 

Albania is as safe a country as any, and throughout the years, there has been a growing presence of Italian companies in our country. However, there is still ample room for improvement. 

As a Balkan country, Albania views Italy, especially the Region of Calabria, with immense interest for many reasons: historical, cultural, and strategic partnership relations, the centuries-old presence of the Arbëresh people, and the new Albanian diaspora. Albanians’ widespread knowledge of the Italian language also greatly influences this immense interest. 

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Establishing a direct flight route between Lamezia Terme and Tirana has brought Albania and the Region of Calabria even closer together in this regard. It has facilitated increased interpersonal connections and contacts between entrepreneurs from both countries, significantly contributing to the growth of tourist exchanges.

I guarantee that I will exert every effort to initiate an institutional cooperation process, considering all the proposals of Commissioner Madeo and your proposals as entrepreneurs and business people.

Let us all work together towards this direction!

It’s time to turn our thoughts and suggestions into concrete actions!

Thank you!