Petraq Milo - EITI by xiuliliaofz


									Dear Mr Peter Eigen, Chair of EITI

Dear ladies and gentlemens

As representative of the Albanian delegation in the "EITI 5th Global Conference” here in Paris I
wish success to this initiative for the contribution to enhancing the welfare of member countries
through transparent management of mineral resources and hydrocarbons. Albania is an EITI
candidate country and hopes to join this organization as soon as possible in the interest of
better management of natural resources but also for the country itself.

Two decades ago Albania was a country with a centralized economy and a one-party system.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Albania embraced market economy, a multi - parties system and
recognized the freedom of religious belief and human rights. Albania is currently a member of
NATO, a country of free movement without visa and in anticipation of EU candidate status.

Since 1998 Albania has grown consistently at rates 6 percent annually. The broadly sound
macroeconomic environment and the confidence established was an important element in
ensuring a relatively moderate impact of the international crisis on Albania until recently. Despite
severe economic downturns and confidence shocks in much of Europe and other advanced
economies, and associated drops in Albanian exports and remittances, Albanian GDP is
estimated to have registered some 3.5 percent growth in 2009. The UnicreditBank in his report
of February 8 recognize that Albania is only country in Europe on the rise, having a growth rate
of GDP in 2010 of 4.5%. For 2011 Albania has an economy excepted to increase with a growth
rate of 4-5%.

Obviously, the private sector of Albania’s economy has been the main driver toward economic
growth with a contribution of about 85 percent of the GDP, and most importantly providing about
80 percent of employment. Foreign Direct Investments during this decade have grown
constantly and have reached 8% of GDP in 2008. In 2009 foreign direct investment reached
about 700 million Euro. It is important to mention that all foreign investors in Albania are highly
protected, as it is witnessed by the Doing Business World Bank Report 2010 which needs ranks
Albania 2nd for protecting investors’ needs.

The government has a clear strategy for attracting foreign direct investments and as part of this
strategy, the parliament has lately legislated a new law about protecting foreign investments.
Among the years, in Albania, there have been property issues because of multiple parties
claiming ownership of the same land property. The government has acknowledged this as an
issue for foreign direct investments and therefore has been proactive in offering a solution. This
is why we currently drafted a new law that protects and guarantees the investments from foreign
investors. What this means is that if any land issues arise in a foreign investment project by a
third party, it is the Albanian government who will go to court on behalf of foreign investors for
disputed land issues and will take full liabilities. This is for the sole purpose of allowing the
investment project to flow freely and smoothly.

Starting from end of 2005 Albania has implemented a new successful fiscal policy, specially the
launch of 10 % flat tax, ranking Albania between the countries with the lowest taxes in the
region. The 10% flat tax both for personal income tax and corporate income tax is now a
success story. The government program of scaled tax cuts contributed not only to make the
country a more attractive one for investments, but it did not endanger at all the fiscal
consolidation. We introduced the flat-rate-tax at the level of 10%, reducing the corporate tax
from 25% to 10%, personal income tax from 23% to 10%, small business tax was cut back by
50%, social security contribution from 44% to % 27.9%. By lowering fiscal charge by 50% for
four major taxes such as personal income tax, corporate income tax, social contribution, and
small business tax, Albania offer real incentives for foreign and domestic investitors.

At the same time, strong imports and sales and administrative improvements are boosting VAT.
Most importantly, a revolution is taking place in improving the tax administration with the
introduction of e-tax program. More and more companies now are using internet to download
tax application, to file tax receipts and to pay their taxes. Tax and customs administration are
making strong progress in the use to technology and inviting private operators to access them
on-line. Today Albania offers on-line tax payments, a service which brings Albania at the most
modern standards on this area.

Dear ladies and gentlemen’s

The Albanian Government has undertaken a comprehensive regulatory reform in order to
establish a friendly business climate. The core of these measures consists in the reduction of
administrative burdens and costs for setting up and pursuing a business. Albania has
implemented reforms based on the most successful models, creatively adapted to their
situation. Government will continue implementation of reforms guided by the objective of rapid
growth and economic development of the country. The efforts has been widely recognize by
well know International annual reports such as World Bank “Doing Business” 2010, where
Albania ranking has been improved by 58 positions. Economic Freedom Report of Heritage
Foundation, again improved Albanian ranking by 6 positions, to 52-nd place in the World,
acknowledging as among of the most “Free Fiscal Countries”, leaving behind, one-third of the
EU Countries. This year, according to Global Competitiveness Index, Albania again improved
its ranking by 12 positions from 108 to 96.

Experience shows that improve the business climate by simplifying administrative procedures,
improving legislation and the rule of law, granting tax incentives and create infrastructure is the
only way to be the best and most attractive country for Foreign direct investment (FDI). The
global financial crisis has highlighted the need for more efficient services and quality of business
environment reform, as the competition for foreign investment becomes more difficult. Improving
the quality and effectiveness of our reform leads to better results in doing business in Albania.

Dear ladies and gentlemen’s

Albania is preparing to join the European Union; the quality of the legal and administrative
environment for business is becoming very important. Competing in a multidimensional regional
context is becoming the new challenge ahead for the Albanian Government. Looking ahead with
regulatory reform, in place, the government defined as our ultimate mission of this term, that
all the reforms undertaken till now and to be taken, is to bring Albania closer to EU standards,
and becoming EU members.

To reach it government decided to better use natural resources, geography, and the other
important factors to succeed such as human capital and unused internal capacities as well. At
this stage of the reforming of the country and its economy, the Government of Albania is
committed to launch a new approach moving from better regulation to better regulators.
Since 2005, we have invested enormous political capital, human and financial resources in key
pillars of regulatory reform such as legislation, institutions and procedures. The most advanced
and modern Laws are drafted and implemented and as the reform goes on, accordingly, others
have to come. Administrative barriers are removed and One Stop Shop Services are introduced
successfully in many sectors. Speed and costs of serving business and respective services are
dramatically reduced. E-services to business in a wide range of sectors, as part of e-
government, are implemented. As a result the level of corruption and bribes reduced drastically
and the transparency increased. Among such regulatory reforms I should emphasize:

The establishment of the National Registration Centre of Businesses has facilitate
business registration, and today in Albania a new Company can practice registration online and
can be registered in 30 minutes from 45 days in the past, with an only 1 Euro cost. The principle
“silent is consent”

The establishment of the National Licensing Centre, now Albania, has allowed that 70
percent of all licenses, permits and authorizations are issued through a one stop shop practice.
Albania has abolished 2/3 of the whole inventory of Permits and licenses almost 200 in Albania
and the remains 1/3 are delivered by the National Licensing Centre, as a One Stop Shop
Service with only 1 euro cost and in a very short time period of 4 days to 30 days for complex
procedures. The principle “silent is consent” applies;

National Centre for Energy Projects, one stop shop for Energy Projects Implementation): We
have attracted projects with a value almost 5 billion Euros investments in the Energy sector.
These will be served by another One –Stop Shop service as the National Centre for Energy
Projects. The principle “silent is consent” applies

The Law on Spatial Planning or Territory Planning, this law transposes the “spatial planning”
EU concepts. It harmonizes public interest versus private one, national interest versus local
interest, and short term versus long term spatial development, aiming a sustainable and
balanced spatial development.

One Stop Shop Service, issue construction permits reducing their delivery time from 365 days
to only 30 days.

The New Company Law incorporates 8 EU Directives on Companies, offering best protection
to minority and majority investors. This law made possible the 14th worldwide position for
Albania, in the Indicator “Protecting Investors” of Doing Business 2009.

The Regulatory Reform on Inspection, Further simplifying doing business, the decrease of
barriers in inspection we have considered more than necessary to improve business

The New Draft Law on Alb invest, serving as a Single Window for the Local and Foreign
Investors will offer high quality Service Window, offers fast and costless services for both foreign
and local investors.

The draft Law on Administrative Court, an important piece of legislation which will drastically
improve the Business environment vis a vis with the state agencies, reducing time, costs and
burocratic procedures for the businesses.

The relevant institution Administrative Court, is established and soon fill be functional

The implementation on 100% of the cases of e-procurement practices and full e-tax
practices brings Albania to among the few countries that apply 100% on-line public procurement
for the sole purpose of guaranteeing transparency and efficiency.
And, due to these reforms Albania was ranked in 2009, the second among top ten reforming
countries in the World Bank Doing Business Report.

Our region is growing fast and we are witnesses of other countries in the region and this puts
more pressure on us to improve faster and better. The road map of the legal, institutional, and
procedures wised regulatory reform will continue with:

      One Stop Control Service in Borders
      The new draft Law on Administrative Procedures Code
      The new tax procedures law
      Financial Sector Regulatory Reform
      Intellectual Property Rights and Quality Infrastructure
      The electronic Regulation

Dear ladies and gentlemen

At the national level the industry, mainly extractive one occupies a significant amount, about 12
% of gross domestic production. This is a significant indicator for membership of Albania in the

Albania is a rich country in minerals. The most frequents ones are groundwater resources,
carbonate minerals, industrial minerals, mineral rocks, sedimentary industrial minerals,
chromites, etc. Albania is well known for chromium, copper, nickel reserves. Quantity and
quality of chromium is high, and now it ranks as the country with the highest level of reserve in
Europe. About 57% of country surface is hydro. There are about 152 rivers and torrents which
create 8 big rivers. The average annual flow of our rivers is about 1 245m3/s and all our rivers
pour into the sea about 40 billion m3 of water per year. Albania has considerable potentials for
future oil and gas discoveries both in land and at sea, which may encourage foreign investitors
to start digging and searching for new oil and gas fields. Cumulative oil production represents
only 11.6% of the total estimated reserves. Carbonate rocks are the most widespread
sedimentary formation covering 7 300 km2. Present chrome reserves are estimated 32.8 million
tons, from which 12.8 million tons of grade over 30% of Cr2O3. Bituminous sands reserves are
about 246 million tones. Nickel reserves are estimated 258 million tons. Coal reserves in our
country are about 794 million ton. Peats reserves are about 156 million m3 with 2200 kcal/kg.
Copper deposits are about 53 million tons with 1.3-2.5% Cu.

For the last decade, Albania has also been very successful in the privatization process in
various areas such as fixed and mobile telephony, distribution of energy sector, banking and
insurance, oil refinery and mining. Recently the government is supporting the implementation of
various models of PPPs (Public Private Partnership) in many strategic projects via concessions
in infrastructure, energy, miming, and transportation sectors. In this way, private sector creates
a synergy with the government by bringing in more capital, more know-how and new
technology, more economic efficiency and better management in delivering public goods and
services. The Mining Sector offers lots of investment opportunities. The mining sector has been
developed mainly through concessionary practices. In recent years, production of such minerals
as well as their final products as ferrochromites and steel has drastically increased due to a
large number of international companies which have invested in this industry. Albania’s
concessionary program continues to attract international exploration companies.

Energy sector, especially the production of renewable energy. The Albanian market of
renewable energy production offers great potential for foreign investors as a result of major
reforms in the electricity sector. Through the concessionary mechanism of the PPP, many
domestic and foreign investors are investing in energy production through hydro plants and wind
farms. So far we have contracted more than 3 billion Euros of investments in the sector. Within
this year, Albanian Government is scheduling to launch several important hydro projects with
real potential of renewable energy production.

Dear ladies and gentlemen’s

Albania seeks to join the EITI as a country in transition and developing countries. It needs to
increase the welfare of the community, improving road infrastructure and environment, further
development of education, health etc., and for this I have to come more numerous in the
budget, through economic management, transparent financial and natural resources. Current
Legislation in extracting industry is modern and in compliance with all European Union
standards prepared in collaboration with the World Bank and other international institutions. To
achieve its goal membership in EITI, the Albanian government has taken the following steps:

    Has requested membership in the EITI through an Albanian government statement
     presented at the 4-th Conference of the EITI International and an official request to the
     Albanian Prime Minister Mr. Peter Eigen.
    Has established a working group consisting of inter-governmental institutions,
     representatives of business in the extractive industry, media, interest groups, civil
     society etc, with mission to prepare and followed the procedure in EITI.
    Albania with decision of Council of Ministers has created the Secretariat of the EITI-t and
     has provided funding and its progress.
    The Secretariat has developed a two year work plan for meeting the obligations for
     membership in the EITI
    Secretariat budget including the approximation of legislation, the participation of
     business in the extractive industry, interest groups, civil society etc.
    Secretariat has completed the procedures for contracting the company that will prepare
     the first EITI report on the situation of extracting industry
    Also, Secretariat has finished procedures for selecting the company that will prepare the
     evaluation report to be presented in EITI before the date of May 14 of 2011, date that
     refers to the limit to fulfill the conditions of membership in EITI.

Dear ladies and gentlemen’s

Albania has successfully completed his position as a candidate for the EITI. We hope to
become members with full rights in the EITI, because we are convinced that effective and
transparent management of natural resources will help increase public debate and informing
him, to find the most effective options in their use and ensuring sustainable economic

Thank for your attention

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