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BERLIN PROCESS SERIES / BERLIN PROCESS / 2 / 2017
Regarding digital connectivity - with a broadband penetration rate extremely low at a mere
8%66 - the reform on the adoption of the new law to reduce the cost of broadband infrastructure
must be completed. EUR 116 million are planned in 2017-2018 for the roll-out of the broadband
network, but without detailed information on various costs. Further steps should be made for a
duly inclusion of the digital service infrastructure in the Berlin agenda of Albania as well as on
technology transfer and diffusion among the enterprises, so as to strengthen efficiency of the
technological processes and of innovation.
In December 2016, the Ministry for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism and Entrepreneurship
in charge for the coordination of the ERP, has been leading the consultation process for the
ERP 2017-2019.
IV.4. Promoting Albanian business connectivity: Value chains in garment and footwear
As mentioned above, value chains are dynamic market-driven systems that rely on collaboration
and relationships by linking companies in certain sectors through the value-creation process.
Embedment in a value chain also creates overall improvements in the enterprise through
employment generation, innovation, and reduction in production losses,67 mostly by upgrading
product quality standards.
The industrial sector in Albania accounts for around 14% of GDP. It is expected to grow by 2%, 3%
and 4.9% respectively for 2016, 2017 and 2018.68 The country has a comparative advantage in
the sectors of metal industry, textile, apparel, agro-food, mining, tourism and energy.69 Currently
industrial exports are driven by SMEs and consist mainly of raw materials and textiles/footwear.
Those are sectors with low added value production cycle and very dependent on variations of
on the global markets and geo-political situation. Moving into higher value-added activities and
better integration into global supply chains would help boost productivity and create more and
better jobs. Incentives for Albanian exporting companies and support of their networking with
their WB6 and EU pairs are being developed by the Albanian Government.70
In the framework of the Berlin process, Albanian SMEs can use the connectivity concept and the
connectivity infrastructure to create a platform for cooperation and long term business relations
with their EU pairs. This is particularly relevant for SMEs with potential and interest on EU value
chain development, and with exporting ambitions.
Albanian Garment and Footwear (G&F) companies have been sourced for the Western markets,
producing high-end clothing with advanced machinery and skilled workforce, in flexible orders,
with full package or on demand production. Since 20 years, Albania has developed into a
reliable producer of mid-range products suitable for the Western market, eager to innovate and
invest in clean technology, workforce training and machinery. They have been producing for
Italian luxury labels, with most garments finished in Italy and sold as ‘Made in Italy’ due to the
non-preferential rules of origin. Country’s comparative advantage for the Italian (and EU) value
chain in garment and footwear (G&F) lays on the latest developments regarding the re-shoring
production facilities, and on its dependence on social and political stability.
Economic Reform Program 2016-2018, July 2016.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, “Sustainable agribusiness value chains”, available at: http://
www.ebrd.com/what-we-do/sectors-and-topics/agribusiness-value-chains.html
68
Ibid.
69
OECD, Next Generation Competitiveness Initiative (NGCI).
70
Declaration of Mrs. Milva Ekonomi, Albanian Minister for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism and
Entrepreneurship at the roundtable organized by CDI and KAS “Albania’s progress in the connectivity agenda:
Transport and Energy Sector” in Tirana on June 28, 2016.
66
67
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