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Albania

7. State-Owned Enterprises

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are defined as legal entities, which are entirely state-owned or state-controlled and operate as commercial companies in compliance with the Law on Entrepreneurs and Commercial Companies.  SOEs operate mostly in the generation, distribution, and transmission of electricity, oil and gas, railways, postal services, ports, and water supply. There is no published list of SOEs.

No discrimination exists between public and private companies operating in the same sector.  The government requires SOEs to submit annual reports and undergo independent audits. SOEs are subject to the same tax levels and procedures, and same domestic accounting and international financial reporting standards, as other commercial companies.  The High State Audit is the institution that audits SOE activities. SOEs are also subject to public procurement law.

Albania is yet to become party to the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA) of the World Trade Organization (WTO), but has obtained observer status and is negotiating full accession.  However, private companies can compete openly and under the same terms and conditions with respect to market share, products and services, and incentives.

The SOE operation in Albania is regulated by the Law on Entrepreneurs and Commercial Companies, the Law on State Owned Enterprises, and the Law on the Transformation of State-Owned Enterprises into Commercial Companies.  The Ministry of Economy and Finance and other relevant ministries covering the sector in which the company operates represent the state as the owner of the SOEs. There are no legal binding requirements for the SOEs to adhere to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidelines.  However, basic principles of corporate governance are stipulated in the above-mentioned laws and generally accord with OECD guidelines. The corporate governance structure of SOEs includes the supervisory board and the general director (administrator) in the case of joint stock companies. The supervisory board is comprised of 3-9 members, who are not employed by the SOE, two-thirds of whom are appointed by the representative of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and one-third by the line ministry, local government unit, or institution to which the company reports.  The Supervisory Board is the highest decision making authority and appoints and dismisses the administrator for the SOE through a two-thirds vote.

Privatization Program

The privatization process in Albania is nearing conclusion, with just a few major privatizations remaining.  Such opportunities include OSHEE, the state-run electricity distributor; 16 percent of Albtelekom, the fixed- line telephone company; and state-owned oil company Albpetrol.

The bidding process for privatizations is public and relevant information is published by the Public Procurement Agency at www.app.gov.al  .  Foreign investors may participate in the privatization program.  No public timelines exist for future privatizations.

The privatization process in Albania is nearing conclusion, with just a few major privatizations remaining.  Such opportunities include OSHEE, the state-run electricity distributor; 16 percent of Albtelekom, the fixed- line telephone company; and state-owned oil company Albpetrol.

The bidding process for privatizations is public and relevant information is published by the Public Procurement Agency at www.app.gov.al  .  Foreign investors may participate in the privatization program.  No public timelines exist for future privatizations.

Investment Climate Statements
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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future