The Minister of Finance Ervin Mete together with the Deputy Minister Adela Xhemali have explained the latest assessment by the prestigious agency Standard&Poor's, showing the process that led to this result and the possible benefits for Albania.
Yesterday, the Standard & Poor's agency revised upward the outlook for Albania, from stable to positive, confirming the B+ rating.
According to the minister, international agencies such as Standard&Poor's assess the creditworthiness of certain countries, which means they assess how likely a country is to repay its debts.
Rating agencies, after collecting and analyzing information on economic data - GDP, inflation, fiscal and monetary policies, political stability and other important institutional factors - judge how the country manages its finances, whether it has institutional stability, as well as progress of economy and reforms.
Based on these analyses, the rating agency provides an assessment that may affect the country's cost or interest in borrowing.
This revision, after almost seven years, is a step towards the group of countries considered to have stronger public finances.
"The improved assessment is an indicator of the progress and positive trend of the Albanian economy. Economic growth has remained stable and relatively high, nearly 4% in annual terms, despite the difficulties the world economy is facing. Inflation returned to a downward trend within a relatively short period of time, reaching 4% in August 2023. Unemployment reached historic lows of 10.7% at the end of the second quarter of this year, while labor market participation of work has improved significantly.
Foreign investments continue to grow at a rapid pace, reaching nearly 700 million euros in the first 6 months of 2023, while tourism has had an extraordinary expansion that requires a dedicated follow-up in terms of improving host capacities and services related to the supporting industry of this sector.
As a result of the improvement of the trade balance, income from tourism and foreign direct investments, there has been a significant improvement of the external balance. The current account, the result of all the country's foreign relations, is expected to drop below 6% of GDP for the first time in 15 years.
Standard&Poor's assessment is a reflection of economic policies, prudent fiscal management and positive efforts in the implementation of structural reforms and the European integration process. In particular, the reduction of the level of public debt and the progress of reforms have been an important factor for this positive assessment.
On the other hand, we must not forget that these estimates can change over time based on how the economic and political situation of a country evolves. Therefore, the efforts to deepen the reforms and improve the economic parameters and the well-being of the citizens continue to remain essential", said Mete.