The American Chamber of Commerce in Albania has completed its annual survey on the business climate in 2015 and the related report that analyzes and presents the data. The survey asks AmCham members about the Overall Business Climate and several of its components, their relationship with Government institutions, the economy, and specifics of their business, such as demand for their goods and services, employment levels, securing financing as needed, and finding qualified staff. In addition, the survey asks business leaders about their expectations and forecast for 2016. The value of the AmCham Business Index for 2015 is 37.94 (on a scale of 1-100) and is expected to improve to 40.61 for 2016.
The index is published for the 4th year in a row and remains a valuable tool for measuring the perception of member businesses and for helping the American Chamber to identify key focus areas and to prioritize its efforts as it works together with other business organization, the government, and international organizations to improve the business climate in Albania.
More than 65% of AmCham members perceived the business climate in Albania in 2015 as unfavorable or very unfavorable, while 5.2% consider the climate as positive and 29.1% as neutral. The top concern of the respondents in the 3 previous years has been the Informal Economy Level, which improved for 2015 and is no longer in the top 3, although it remains an important concern.
Monopoly and Unfair Competition and Government Bureaucracy remain among the top 3 concerns, and are joined there by the Overall Tax Level Applied. Other areas that received generally unfavorable ratings are the level of corruption, finding qualified staff, the internal political climate, economic reform and economic policy, and the application of laws and regulations. These areas, along with property rights, intellectual property rights, and infrastructure will remain the focus of AmCham in 2016.
Several areas continue to have a majority of respondents with positive or neutral perception, among which are the relations with Customs authorities, with the Local Government, and with the Ministries.
Encouraging signals include the significant improvement in the indicator for order and safety and the expectations of the respondents for 2016, which show and increase in almost all indicators where the survey asks for a forecast.
More than half of the AmCham members maintained employment and investment at the same level, while those who increased the number or employees and total investment slightly outnumbered those who lowered them. They intend to continue to invest in 2016, despite the fact that 38% reported difficulties in securing financing for their activity.
AmCham will use the findings of this index to continue its work with members, government institutions, and all other partners, towards an attractive business climate in Albania and an economy on the path of sustainable growth.