General Information

Capital: Tirana

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
  • Introduced in 1926
  • 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

Doing Business:

  • 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


May 1, 2022