The series captures the experience, innovative approaches and solutions for development of the World Bank Group covering financial sector topics of relevance to both the public and private sectors. The series is comprised of short knowledge notes, policy notes, case studies, lessons learned or a combination therein. This series was formerly known as Finance in Focus.
Regional free trade agreements (FTAs)
have a sizable effect on exports and foster economic growth.
While reducing tariffs in member countries, regional FTAs
harmonize trade policy across regions and reduce regulation
uncertainty for exporters. They are particularly important
for supporting trade in isolated countries such as Albania,
a transition economy in the Western Balkans. This policy
note looks at the impact of membership in the Central
European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA) on Albania's
export growth. It finds that Albanian exports to CEFTA
members have grown much faster than its exports to other
countries. A large share of this growth is contributed by
firms that did not export to CEFTA countries previously and
via new exports that were among the least traded to CEFTA
countries. We also measure the impact of CEFTA on Albanian
exports using a gravity equation, which finds that CEFTA
increased Albanian exports to member countries between 34
percent and 144 percent.
Competitive Fruit and Vegetable Products in Albania
2018-12, World Bank Group
Albania is heavily dependent on its
agricultural sector, which accounts for 20.3 percent of GDP,
49 percent of employment and 8.5 percent of total exports.
The fruit and vegetable sector represents 20 percent of
Albanian agriculture but contributes 36 percent of its
exports and this share is expected to increase. The note
posits an idea that as the domestic market for many of these
products is saturated, Albanian fruits and vegetables have
been gaining ground in the Western Balkans and are well
positioned to make headway in the EU-28 market as well.
However, Albanian producers face many constraints in meeting
the rigid and complex demands of the EU market, constraints
that an export strategy focused solely on identifying
products for export is unlikely to change. The policy
paradigm has shifted to approaches that focus on integrating
local industries into global value chains that help
facilitate technology transfer and create jobs.