Second Conference


Second Conference OF THE BANK OF ALBANIA
"albania between domestic reforms and europian integration"


Opening speech of the Second Conference

Honorable ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests,

I have the honor to be here today during the inauguration of the conference "Albania amid domestic reforms and the European integration" which is jointly organized by the Albanian government and the Bank of Albania on the event of the 10-th anniversary of Albanian enrollment in the world financial institutions like the World
Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

First of all I'd like to thank all of you for your participation, and wish a special welcome to Albania to all our foreign guests. Now it is more than 10 years from the time when Albania overthrew the totalitarian regime and took its course towards the market economy, and it is making quick steps in the way of democratic and economic reforms. It was very appropriate to gather here today and analyze the work and results achieved so far, what has been done this past 10 years and what is left to do, the future challenges and our lessons from the past. It is almost ten years now that Albania has been a member of the Bretton Woods institutions, and the cooperation with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other development financial institutions, not forgetting the European Union, during all this time has been like a powerful engine for Albania in the path of development and the integration in Europe. I take advantage of the opportunity to show these institution via their representatives in this room our greatest gratitude for their continuous support and
cooperation, which has been very precious for us. I think you agree that we have learned a lot from each-other during these years.

The years we have worked together have been difficult and we have had to endure many obstacles to arrive to this stage, but the results and satisfaction have been present as well. If you compare Albania of the 90s with nowadays Albania, progress is really evident. This country has left behind the emergency stage and is now headed towards long-term development planning; there have been a number of reforms focusing on the privatization and the increase of the effectiveness of the economy, the strengthening of the institutional capacities and the rule of law. Nevertheless we are conscious that new challenges lie ahead, challenges that require the improvement of the results achieved so far until we meet our final goal: the integration in the European Union.

I think we all agree that during these recent years Albania has had considerable success concerning the stabilization of the macroeconomic indexes, the creation of a stable fiscal situation, monetary policy and structural reforms. Now I will not talk about the problems encountered and the progress achieved in these fields,because they will all be separate objects of discussion during the two days of this conference, but I would like to mention that in order to arrive to this stage our country and people had to sacrifice a lot of time and efforts to make Albania, then an isolated and poor country, become a source of stability and development, an open and cooperative country, a main contributor for the peace and prosperity in the region.

Nowadays there is no doubt that Albania's future belongs to the United Europe, and every passing day we are trying to narrow the gap between us. The beginning of the negotiations for the Stabilization and Association Agreement in the coming year will be another challenge that our country will successfully pass, and this will open the doors of the United Europe for Albania. In order to achieve this, we are working with a strong dedication, so that we become dignified members of the EU; we are working to maintain domestic stability, raise our economic standard, ensure the respectfulness of democratic principles, and to have a good administration and solid institutions. It is for this reason that the government, having the support of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund has initiated the economic increase and poverty reduction program, precisely to meet the objectives of the development and approximation with the European countries. This will mean that more attention will be paid in the coming years to the infrastructure development, public health and education, so that we improve the living conditions of the poor people and narrow the social differences.

Honorable ladies and gentlemen,

As a conclusion, I would like to stress once again the important role that the Albania's opening to the world and the international financial institutions, as well as the increase of the cooperation with them, has had on the transformation and the development of our country. For Albania's good, I hope that the relations we have had so far will be maintained and even strengthened, so that we achieve our final goal, the quick-step economic growth and integration of our country into the European family.

Wishing all the best to this conference, I thank you once again for your participation and attention.

Anastas Angjeli
Ministry of Finance

Complementary speech in the Conference

Presentations and discussions in the Conference