Official Language: Albanian
Religion: ~60% Islam / 17% Christianity
Government: Unitary parliamentary constitutional republic
Legislature: Kuvendi - The Parliament of Albania
Area: 28,748 km2
Location: Albania has great diversity in its landscape, with snowy mountains and sunny coastal seas. The Albanian coastline falls along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas in the greater Mediterranean Sea.
Population: 2,846,000 (2020 estimate)
- GDP: $42.6 billion
- Currency: Lek
- Albania is considered a developing country, with an upper-middle income economy
- Their economy is largely service-based; Manufacturing is the next largest industry
- Albania offers free access to healthcare for all of its citizens
- Many business-people in Albania speak English, but this is not always the case. Interpreters are often present in meetings.
- Albanians prefer to keep things simple when it comes to paperwork - less is more!
- Private businesses in Albania often do not have many layers of bureaucracy - the same person will act as a manager, accountant, and secretary.
- The Euro and US dollar are the preferred currencies for business.
- Meetings may take place in very informal settings, like homes and cafes, or even the back of a cab. Often after a meeting, you will be invited out to lunch or dinner with your Albanian colleagues, especially if there is something to ‘celebrate’ business-wise.
- Gift-giving is important in Albanian business culture, and art is usually the most well-received type of gift.
- In some parts of Albania, nodding and shaking your head have the opposite meanings - be careful about this!
History & Culture:
- The modern nation-state of Albania declared independence in 1912, after defeating the Ottomans in the Balkan Wards
- Albania went through many more transformations during the early and mid-20th century
- The current Republic of Albania was established after the Revolutions of 1991 and the fall of communism in the nation
- The colors red and black are a great symbol of Albania, as is the golden eagle
- The eagle has been used as an Albanian symbol since the Middle Ages
- Albanian food culture is influenced by Italian, Greek, and Turkish cuisines