Tirana, May 25, 2012 - Today the World Bank Country Manager for Albania Ms. Kseniya Lvovsky visited universities of Saranda and Gjirokaster and met the faculty and the students to talk to them about recent economic developments and World Bank support for Albania. Ms. Lvovsky also used the opportunity to meet the Mayor of Saranda Mr. Çipa and visit the Saranda’s port where the World Bank finances the rehabilitation works. The World Bank supports a major program of investment in infrastructure improvements and cultural heritage conservation of the southern Albanian coast to boost its economic and tourism potential.
In her presentation at the universities, Ms. Lvovsky highlighted the significant achievements of Albania during the last 20 years, to which the World Bank has been proud to contribute. She also discussed current and future challenges to Albanian development, including the continuing recession in the Eurozone and growing uncertainties over the Greek sovereign debt crisis. She stressed the importance of monitoring poverty trends and strengthening the social safety net, which is essential to the areas where remittances from Greece have been a major source of income. Ms. Lvovsky emphasized the importance of gradually reducing the Albanian public debt - the highest in the Western Balkans,- while accelerating reforms to sustain growth and mitigate the impact of the Eurozone crisis. In conclusion, she commended the students for their decision to major in economics and finance and acquire skills that are in demand by both the private and public sectors. She encouraged them to take advantage of the World Bank Open Data.
The visits to the universities marked the beginning of the series of activities to celebrate 20 years of World Bank partnership with Albania that will culminate with the main event on October 8th.