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New study on the challenges to developing nostalgic trade among the Albanians living in the U.S.

By Manuel Orozco

The U.S. is home to more than 200,000 ethnic Albanians, about half of whom are emigrants from the Republic of Albania. Despite the significant Albanian population in the U.S., official trade of Albanian goods in the U.S. almost does not exist.

We surveyed about 200 Albanian-Americans and several stores offering goods imported from the Balkan region of Europe in three U.S. metropolitan areas with large Albanian population in order to study their purchasing habits. We found that the willingness to purchase products from the region of...

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New Case Study: Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector

By Ozair Ali

In an attempt to recuperate its dysfunctional electricity distribution system, Albania privatized its sole electricity distribution company in 2009. Disappointed with the results of the privatization, just four years later, the State of Albania renationalized the company.

The case study “Revitalizing the Albanian Electricity Sector” analyzes the key sources of inefficiencies in the electricity distribution sector in Albania and the structural problems of the current state-owned company. It explains how the tariff setting and the failed...

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Thank You, Interns - Now the Work Continues

By Tim O'Brien

The Center for International Development’s thirteen master’s level interns (Team Albania 2015) are returning to Cambridge this week to start the final year of their studies. In Tirana, they have left behind not only their reports and recommendations but living projects that are now tangible instruments for Albania’s economic transition. They take with them fond memories, lessons both large and small, and experiences in governance that will soon become learning tools for the larger community at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

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The Unknown of the Balkans: Albania and Foreign Investment

By Emmanual Steg

Albania has a two-headed eagle on its flag to symbolize a country that looks both towards the West and the East. However, since the end of the Second World War, Albania has been curled up and unable to open up to a dynamic Europe. During the Cold War it was the most reclusive country in Europe, finding an ally only in the distant People’s Republic of China, and even after the fall of communism, Albania remained an anomaly among its Balkan neighbors who were painfully taking back their place at the heart of Europe. Why would a country just...

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Beyond Remittances: Engaging the Albanian Diaspora in Development

By Sarah Zehner

Since 2001, a growing number of developing countries have established ministries, government departments or other official institutions dedicated to their diasporas. Albania, which has a Diaspora Unit within its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is among this group. This shift worldwide is consistent with the recognition that diasporas can contribute greatly to both economic and social development...

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Energy as a Big Opportunity in Albania

By Juan Domingo Riesco

This year, Albania’s Parliament approved an ambitious new electricity law. With it, the country is trying to complete the unbundling of its electricity generation, transmission and retail; move toward a non-discriminatory competitive market; and integrate more fully with the rest of Europe, both in energy markets and energy priorities. If that sounds complicated and technical, that’s because it is.

Upon the foundation of the law, the Ministry of Energy and Industry is now working to develop specific procedures and regulations...

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European Aspirations in the Balkans

By Ishani Desai

“Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity.”

- Robert Schuman, 9 May 1950

In his historic declaration in May 1950, Robert Schuman, the architect of Europe, voiced his determination to merge the economic interests of his region and raise living standards, and to eventually create a more unified Europe. The result—the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which included six Western European countries—...

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Kicking Off the 2015 Summer Internship Program

By Ljubica Nedelkoska

For a second year in a row, the Center for International Development (CID) at Harvard University is organizing a 10-week summer internship program as a part of the Economic Growth in Albania project. Today, 13 master’s level students from Harvard University stepped into government and ministry offices in Tirana, Albania to work towards development goals. About half of them will work at the Ministry of Economy and Tourism. The other half will join the...

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