It has not been an easy task for the Albanian economy to transition from its communist past to a foreign-investment-friendly economy. Its still facing challenges in dealing with stagnation, corruption and the development of fiscal policies that attract foreign investment.
Intensive macroeconomic restructuring with the IMF and The World Bank is helping Albania grow towards being a more open economy.
The Albanian economy suffers from a trade deficit, albeit a declining one. In 2010, Albanian exports totaled $1.194 billion while imports totaled $3.602 billion – which decreased significantly from $4.898 billion in 2009 when exports remained at a similar figure of $1.345 billion.
Italy dominates both imports and exports, while Greece is its second two-way trading partner.
Albania exports textiles and footwear, asphalt, metals and metallic ores, crude oil, vegetables, fruits and tobacco.
Its primary export trading partners Italy are (55.9% of exports), Greece (11.6%), China (7.2%) Italy (27.6%), Greece (14.8%), Turkey (7.4%), China (6.8%), Germany (5.6%), Switzerland (5%) and Russia (4.2%).
Albania's primary imports include machinery and equipment, foodstuffs, textiles and chemicals.
It imports from Italy (32.2% of imports), Greece (13.1%), Turkey (7.2%), Germany (6.6%), China (4.5%), Russia (4.4%) Italy (27.6%), Greece (14.8%), Turkey (7.4%), China (6.8%), Germany (5.6%), Switzerland (5%), Russia (4.2%).