Tirana, May 20, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, started today an agenda of talks in the Balkan at the head of an official delegation. He’s holding meetings with leaders of the Albanian state, before traveling to Montenegro on Wednesday.
Mr. Heinz Fischer was received by the Albanian president, Bujar Nishani (photo). After a meeting that they had together, they delivered a news conference. Nishani said that he and his Austrian counterpart talked about the relations between the two countries, European integration, situation in the region and the latest international developments.
He said that important projects such as TAP and Ionian-Adriatic Project offers many opportunities for Austrian companies.
“Austrian business will continue to find a friendly atmosphere here. Albanian government and institutions will be on its side through a legal infrastructure, reforms in the administration, fight against informality and corruption and further qualification of labor force based on EU standards”, said Mr. Nishani.
Stopping on international affairs, Mr. Nishani confirmed that Albania continues to be aligned with NATO and EU allies. “Albania strongly supports the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine. We have condemned the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, as a violation of international right, as a threatening precedent for the long term stability of European space and space around it. The only elections that will be recognized by us are May 25 presidential elections, which, if they are free and successful, they will be very important for the future of Ukraine”.
Nishani said that the comparison with Kosovo is a poor effort to justify it through a precedent.
During this visit in Tirana, Mr. Fischer was also received by prime minister Edi Rama. The two personalities agreed that the frequent contacts between the two countries have created new opportunities for the economic and commercial cooperation.
President Fischer said that Albania has achieved a lot in its path of integration, it has met the criteria and that it deserves the EU candidate status.
A few days before today’s visit of Mr. Fischer to Tirana, prime minister Edi Rama was in Vienna in an effort to convince Austria to support Albania’s granting of the EU candidate status. Mr. Rama participated in an economic forum, where he invited Austrian business to come and invest in Albania.
he Albanian government, Prime Minister Rama noted, is working hard to establish the foundations of a sustainable economic development, supported also by international financial institutions.
For Prime Minister Rama foreign investments are vital to the economy. For this reason, the government is highly committed to creating an attractive environment for investment and eliminating any barriers that so far have made investors reluctant to come to Albania.
The Prime Minister addressed an appeal to participants: “Test our resolve and come and do business in Albania. I strongly believe that Austria could play a more important role, but I am also aware that it is not up to Austrian companies to take the first step, but it is up to us. Because we are the ones in need, although this is not enough. We should be in a position to really convince any entrepreneur that what we need is not just what Albania needs, but also that it is an advantage to every company that will come to invest in Albania”.
Austria is one of the three most important countries as far as direct investments in Albania are concerned. Austrian businesses have invested in the insurance market, banks, power plants, mines, processing industry, legal studios, hotels. Austria is seen as an important commercial partner for Albania. /ibna/