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ATCI: Albanian Times, 98-01-12

The Albanian Times (by AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International) Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: AlbAmerica Trade & Consulting International <http://www.worldweb.net/~ww1054/>

Albanian Times Vol. IV, No. 2

January 12, 1998


CONTENTS

  • [01] Albanian Minister Sees More Normal Economy in 1998
  • [02] Aid Project for Northeastern Albania Resumes
  • [03] Albanian Chrome Output Raises in Third Quarter of 97
  • [04] Germany, Greece to back Albanian police restructuring
  • [05] KESH Negotiates Installation of Collective Meters
  • [06] Reestablishing Phone Links in 13 District a Priority - Telekom
  • [07] In 1997, Customs Collected 21,3 billion leks
  • [08] French Company Considers Investing in Phosphate Plant.
  • [09] Ministers Pledges Fight Against Smuggling, Increase of Custom worker salaries
  • [10] Czech Companies Offer to Buy Albanian Iron-nickel
  • [11] Oil Production Up
  • [12] Police Tries to Block Smuggling in the North
  • [13] Drinking water for 90 more villages and 8 towns in 1998
  • [14] More People to be Assisted Economically in 1998
  • [15] Savings Bank and Rural Commercial Bank to Merge in 1998

  • [01] Albanian Minister Sees More Normal Economy in 1998

    TIRANA, January 9 - Albania's Economy and Privatisation Minister Ylli Bufi said the most important sectors of the economy had emerged from crisis, paving the way for more normal development in 1998. He said 1998 would mark the re-launch of the privatisation programme, which he believed would bring new investments and introduce foreign capital in strategic sectors. Important deals had already been agreed with foreign companies in the key oil, chrome and copper industries.

    A $250 million oil project by Britain's Premier Oil Plc would start within three months. Premier signed a contract with Albania in December to increase oil production and build an 18 km pipeline from Patos to the coast. Canada's Nebex Resources Ltd would start investing in copper while Anglo-Italian group Kinglor-RDI would develop the ferro-chrome industry. Bufi said two other important projects would be the rehabilitation of hydropower stations on the Drini river and improving the power distribution network, with funding from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the World Bank.

    [02] Aid Project for Northeastern Albania Resumes

    KUKES, January 7 - A $18.2 million project designed to lessen the poverty in northeastern Albania, will continue, ATA said. The rural development project, covering the districts of Kukes, Diber, Has and Tropoje, began in 1995 and will continue through the year 2000. The project is co-financed by the International Fund for Agricultural Development - IFAD - ($11,6 million), the Islamic Bank for Development ($5,5 million) and the Albanian government ($1.05 million). Investments cover infrastructure, rural credits, veterinary development, agricultural and livestock development and local government.

    [03] Albanian Chrome Output Raises in Third Quarter of 97

    TIRANA, January 7 - Albania's Institute of Statistics reported the following main economic indicators for 1997:
    Chrome Output			Q3 1997		Q2 1997		Jan-Sept 1997
    Total chrome ore (tons)		35,152		22,679		116,713
    High grade chrome ore (tons)	20,151		17,689		 63,692
    Chrome concentrate (tons)	 6,206		 4,282		 17,146
    Ferrochromium (tons)		 6,210		 9,931		 22,584
    

    [04] Germany, Greece to back Albanian police restructuring

    TIRANA, January 7 - Ambassadors of Germany and Greece have confirmed the support of their country to restructure the Albanian police in the framework of the West European Union (WEU). In a ceremony marking the take over of the WEU presidency by Greece, the Ambassador of Germany Hans Peter Disdorn and the Greek ambassador Konstantine Prevendurakis expressed the readiness of their countries and governments to help restructure the Albanian police. Attending were officials of the WEU mission (MAPE) and senior officials of the Albanian Interior Ministry.

    [05] KESH Negotiates Installation of Collective Meters

    TIRANA, January 4 - The Albanian Energetic Corporation (KESH) is negotiating with the World Bank a $ 6 million credit to continue a project aimed at installing collective meters to keep track of the use of electricity by the population. The installment of collective meters in apartment buildings had begun before 1997 when the country slipped into anarchy. About 553 collective meters were destroyed during the riots but were repaired with funding by KESH. About 2,000 new meters are expected to be installed within the first few months of 1998.

    [06] Reestablishing Phone Links in 13 District a Priority - Telekom

    TIRANA, January 4 - Albanian Telekom said reestablishing telephone connections with 13 districts is a priority. Telekom General Director Dhimiter Rafti said the company "has spent one million dollars to ensure connection through the radio-relay system, because the cable system is out of use." Telephone connections were interrupted in the districts of Sarande, Mirdite, Peshkopi, Bulqize, and other areas during the riots last year.

    [07] In 1997, Customs Collected 21,3 billion leks

    TIRANA, January 5 - About 21,3 billion leks were collected from customs during 1997, despite the dificculties caused by the turmoil that swept the country, custom officials said. Customs revenue increased with more than 4.3 billion leks compared with 1996. About 13.3 billion leks were collected in the last four months alone, officials said.

    [08] French Company Considers Investing in Phosphate Plant.

    TIRANE, January 5 - "Ever Trade" a French based company is considering inveting about $1 million in the superphosphate plant in Lac, Northwestern Albania, A.D.E.F.A (France-Albania Economic Development Association) said. The investment will address the renovation of the plant's technology and procurement of the raw materials for the production of superphosphate fertilizers. "Ever Trade" is the biggest purchaser of Albanian superphosphate.

    [09] Ministers Pledges Fight Against Smuggling, Increase of Custom worker salaries

    KORCE, January 7 - Cracking down on smuggling remains a major concern of the Albanian government the Minister of Finances, Arben Malaj told a meeting attended by leaders and financial experts of customs, tax, budget, treasure, bank and INSIG departments in the district of Korce, Southeastern Albania. The minister said that during the period of March-December 1997, about 230 customs employees were fired in connection with smuggling and 37 of them have been indicted. "The government will soon submit to the Parliament a new draft Code on taxes, customs and the small business," Malaj said. He said "the salaries of the staff in the tax and customs departments, prosecutor's offices and courts will increase by 50%," while the average salaries in other state sectors will receive a boost of 20%."

    [10] Czech Companies Offer to Buy Albanian Iron-nickel

    Czech companies have offered to buy undisclosed amounts of Albanian iron- nickel ore, ATA said. Before 1990, the Czechs were the primary buyers of Albanian iron-nickel. About 300,000 tons of iron-nickel lie idle at Durres harbour ready for shipment pending offers from foreign buyers. Mining specialists foresee total exports of about 500,000 tons for 1998.

    [11] Oil Production Up

    TIRANA, January 8 - Albanian oil production increased to a daily 1,000 tons in December from 700 tons in July. In 1998, production is expected to reach 420,000 tons from 360,000 tons in 1997. Albpetrol investments for 1998 will amount to 880 million leks with foreign investments expected to be about $63,5 million.

    [12] Police Tries to Block Smuggling in the North

    KOPLIK, January 9 - The police of Malesi e Madhe in Northern Albania, have taken all-round measures to stop smuggling through the lake of Shkoder. The measures have enabled the prevention of smuggling towards Montenegro. Police checks are active along the road Shkoder-Han i Hotit, as well as in the secondary roads which lead to the lake of Shkoder. Large scale smuggling of cigarettes, fuel and coffee towards Montenegro started in 1993 despite the embargo of the United Nations against former Yugoslavia. The area continued to be a smuggling haven during the turmoil that swept Albania last year.

    [13] Drinking water for 90 more villages and 8 towns in 1998

    TIRANA, January 9 - Albanian Government is planning to provide drinking water to 90 more villages and improve water supply in eight towns during 1998. The Ministry of Construction and Public Affairs will inject funds worth 600 million lek frozen for four years, to construct 43 water supply facilities. The towns to benefit from the project are Lushnje, Ballsh, Belsh, Krasta, Elbasan, Gramsh, Permet, and Konispol..

    [14] More People to be Assisted Economically in 1998

    TIRANA, January 9 - The Ministry of Labour forecasts that in 1998, 35,000 more people who have lost their life savings in pyramid investment schemes and those dislocated from the country's northern part will be included into the economic assistance scheme. According to sources from the ministry, legal work is underway to find ways to provide economic support to the Albanian immigrants recently from Italy.

    [15] Savings Bank and Rural Commercial Bank to Merge in 1998

    TIRANA, January 10 - The merge of the Rural Commercial Bank and the Savings Bank until the end of 1997 seemed to go as planned by senior officials of both Banks. Until now all deposits of RCB around 3,5 billion leks have been transferred at SB.According to RCB officials are now addressing less important issues such as the relations of RCB with the Albanian Telekom regarding the services rendered by the bank to Telekom clients.

    This material was reprinted with permission of AlbAmerica Trade and Consulting International (ATCI). For more information on ATCI and the Albanian Times, please write to AlbaTimes@aol.com.

    Copyright © ATCI, 1998


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