The land of eagles and great future expectations

Over the past 25 years, Albania’s vibrant private sector has played a pivotal role in driving the country’s transition, catapulting its development to an upper-middle-income status. Situated in the Western Balkans and surrounded by the Mediterranean Seas, Albania is currently undertaking substantial reforms to stimulate growth, foster job opportunities, and advance its European Union integration agenda.

The country, located in the Western Balkans and bathing in the Mediterranean Sea, just across Southern Italy, is implementing important reforms to revitalize growth and job creation, while advancing the European Union integration agenda. Its small open economy relies on the production of goods and services that make extensive use of natural resources— especially water—and semi-skilled labour.

Albanian companies currently have a low awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals as well as their impact on the environment and society at large. In some cases, they are unknowingly already implementing sustainability practices in their businesses but do not have the context to expand them further and hone into future sustainable investments. However, these long-term choices in sustainability can give them a strategic advantage in the future, especially thinking about the challenges of our times, such as the energy crisis, inflation, lack of raw materials and skilled workers, and the EU integration process. Combined with updates in business and trade regulation at a national level, for instance with regards to export, recycling and traceability, sustainable practices can contribute to increase the resilience of Albanian companies and support their sustainable growth over time. SDGs provide a critical window of opportunity to rethink its present and future role and the experience shared by the Swedish businesses can represent a powerful catalyst while providing them initial access to future business counterparts.