Economic situation The economy is picking up
The multiple crises of recent years (a major earthquake in 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic, the energy crisis caused by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine) present major economic and social challenges for the country. In 2022, the growth rate was 3.7 per cent.
As the rate of people leaving the country and the share of the informal sector in the economy continue to be high, the unemployment rate is difficult to estimate. According to government sources, it is almost 12 per cent. The share of young people who are neither in education or training nor hold a job is especially high – roughly 21 per cent.
The agricultural sector is an important pillar of Albania’s economy. While its share in gross domestic product has dropped to around 18 per cent, it accounts for roughly one third of all jobs. Most people in the sector are smallholders who are engaged in subsistence farming.
The agricultural sector and the food industry could make a much stronger contribution towards economic development. To that end, however, rural infrastructure – such as roads, markets, water and energy supply – would need to be improved significantly. Agro-tourism has evolved positively in recent years, not least thanks to support from the BMZ.
The growth of Albania's economy is driven mainly by the textile and leather industries, telecommunications and tourism. The country is one of the biodiversity hotspots in Europe.
However, so far it has lacked both the political will and the financial and human resources to monitor and enforce compliance with existing environmental legislation. The government took a very encouraging step in March 2023 by designating a national park to protect the Vjosa, the last big wild river in Europe.
As at: 16/06/2023