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Discussion meeting on access to finance and agriculture finance

On February 28, 2023, a discussion meeting was held organized by the World Bank, in cooperation with the Albanian Association of Banks (AAB), with the participation of the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr. Gent Sejko, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy, Mrs. Adela Xhemali, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Enio Civici and heads of commercial banks.

In his speech, the Permanent Representative of the World Bank Office in Albania, Mr. Emanuel Salinas, said that the purpose of this table is to discuss the problems of access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and farmers. Access to finance is a problem not only for Albania but also for the whole world.

Governor Sejko said, among others, that the banking sector in the country is well-capitalized and liquid, as well as its support for the private sector, has been growing. However, he added that the financial sector can play a more important role in sustainable long-term economic growth in the country.

At the meeting, triggered by the presentations by representatives of the World Bank, there was a discussion on guarantee schemes for increasing credit, financial infrastructure, regulatory and legal aspects, the diversification of products, and the need for financing agriculture.

Bank representatives raised concerns related to the cooperation of state institutions in the development of guarantees, for new developments in the market in addition to collateral loans, for reducing informality, clarifying ownership, finding schemes that ease the impact of credit risk on regulatory capital, etc.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed to establish a working group that will follow and further develop in detail the proposals made at the meeting.