|GDP, current US$ billion||11.1|
|GDP per capita, current US$||3840|
|Poverty rate ($5/day 2005PPP terms) (2012)||47.5|
|Life Expectancy at birth, years (2014)||77.4|
After Albania emerged from 50 years of communist rule, the transition from a centrally planned to a market-oriented economy, together with abundant international aid and other strategic assistance, helped Albania to make progress. On account of strong growth performance, Albania grew from the poorest nation in Europe in the early 1990s to middle-income status in 2008, with poverty declining by half during that period.
The country’s economic transformation continues to build on its huge potential and opportunities. However, the global financial crisis exposed the weaknesses of its growth model and highlighted the need to shift from consumption-fueled to investment- and export-led growth. Some groups in the population have less access to economic opportunities, and the new model will help them contribute to and benefit from economic growth.
In order to accelerate the pace of equitable growth, Albania needs to implement structural reforms that will raise productivity and competitiveness in the economy, create more jobs, and improve governance and public service delivery. Enhanced regional connectivity and access to regional and global markets, coupled with export and market diversification, can also help to promote faster growth.
Recognizing these challenges, the Government of Albania in 2014 embarked on a broad-based reform program focused on macroeconomic and fiscal sustainability, financial sector stabilization, energy concerns, pensions, and territorial administration. Significant progress propelled by the ongoing reforms has created the conditions for rebounding business confidence and domestic demand, including early signs of increased investment and an export-led recovery. Maintaining the reform momentum and implementation is critical for Albania’s continued economic growth and its aspirations for European Union (EU) integration.