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Albania

last updated:  May 2018

 

Diplomatic relations between Estonia and Albania were established on 1 January 1992. 

The Albanian embassy accredited to Estonia is situated in Warsaw. Present Albanian Ambassador to Estonia Dr. Shpresa Kureta presented her credentials to President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on January 13, 2015. 
Estonia is represented in Albania by Ambassador Priit Pallum, who resides in Athens and presented his credentials to Albanian President  Ilir Metal March 13,  2018.

In the spring of 2009, Estonian Honorary Consul in Albania Sotiraq Guga assumed his role. The honorary consulate was formally opened by Prime Minister Andrus Ansip during his April 2010 visit.

Visits and meetings

to Albania
March 2017 Deputy Minister for EU Affairs Matti Maasikas
April 2010 Prime Minister Andrus Ansip
November 2007 Minister of Defence Jaak Aaviksoo
to Estonia
February 2018 Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati 
February 2014 Minister of Innovation and Public Administration Milena Harito
November 2011 Minister of Innovation and ICT Genc Pollo
April 2010 Albanian Foreign Minister Ilir Meta met with Foreign Minister Urmas Paet within the framework of the meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Tallinn
November 2008 Minister of Defence Gazmend Oketa at the NATO-Ukraine meeting in Tallinn
April 2008 Prime Minister Sali Berisha
February 2007 Foreign Minister Besnik Mustafaj and Defence Minister Fatimir Mediu at the meeting of the foreign affairs and defence ministers of the member states of the Baltic and Adriatic Charters and of the USA in Tallinn

On November 26th 2013, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip and Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama met bilaterally in Bucharest during the summit between Central and Eastern European countries and China.

Interparliamentary co-operation

In the 12th Riigikogu the Chairman of an Estonia-Albania parliamnentary group was Igort Gräzin.  The 13th Riigikogu has not jet formed the parliamentary group.

In October 2012 a three-member delegation of the EU integration committee of Albania’s Parliament visited Estonia. The Estonian delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly participated in the spring session of the assembly  in Tirana  from May 27 to 30, 2016.

Treaties and agreements

 

The following bilateral agreements have been concluded between Estonia and Albania:

  • An agreement on the reciprocal protection of classified information between the Government of Estonia and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania has been concluded (came into force 2 August 2006)
  • An agreement on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income between the Government of the Republic of Estonia and the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Albania has been concluded.

Economic relations

 

Trade relations between the two countries have been rather modest. The Estonian export to Albania  has remained between 0,4 - 0,6 million euros over the past years. Between 2013 and 2015 the volume of exports was mainly made up of wood and wood products, food products, and machinery and equipment. Major export articles in 2016:  animal products (20%), articles of plastics and rubber (17%), wood and articles of wood (16%). In 2015 eleven Estonian enterprises exported to Albania.

In 2016 there was a considerable  increase in the imports reaching nearly 3 million euros. The increase was registered mainely from the growth of prepared foodstuffs and beverages. 

In 2016, Albania ranked 81th among Estonia´s trade partners (trade turnover of 3,3 million euros).  In 2015, Albania ranked 107th among Estonia's trade partners.

Trade between Estonia and Albania  2009-2016 (thousands of EUR)

  2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015   2016 2017
Export 77 110 13 187 609 385 605 376 393
Import 56 68 37 0 47 81 90 2971 5130
Turnover 132 110 50 187 562 446 695 3347 5522
Balance 2 42 -24 187 515 304 515 -2594 -4737

All economic figures are from the Statistical Office of Estonia.

According to Bank of Estonia, as of 30 September 2017, Estonian direct investments to Albania totalled 4,6 million euros. 

Defence co-operation

 

Defence-related contacts between Estonia and Albania have been quite sparse to date. The memorandum of mutual understanding for bilateral defence-related relations was concluded in February of 2005 at the Munich Security Conference.

Development co-operation

 

Co-operation between Estonia and Albania has a long history and has taken place in many different sectors. Estonia has advised Albania and given the country aid in developing its border guard, court system, and prisons. In recent years the majority of co-operation has taken place in the area of e-government. Experts from the e-Governance Academy and from various Estonian enterprises and universities have carried out many projects in Albania. Among other things, Albania has been given advice on working out the organisational and structural management model, work schedules and strategies for Albania’s e-government. The result is the well-functioning Albanian National Agency for Information Society (NAIS). The e-Governance Academy has also helped with preparing many concept papers, for example those on document exchange and electronic archiving, a data security framework, and the architecture and co-operation framework of the e-government. The Ministry of Justice has consulted for Albania on the creation of an electronic land cadastre.

Some recent examples. In January 2015 the e-Governance Academy carried out a week length training program for three Albanian NAIS officials who got an overview of the possibilities how to use the opportunities of information society and ICT, following Estonia's example. In January 2016 Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs carried out the TAIEX Study Visit on Children's Rights Policy for Albanian officials.  

Estonia has provided scholarships for diplomats from Albania to attend the Estonian School of Diplomacy. An Albanian student attended the school during the 2015/2016 academic year.

In April 2017 a study visit of one journalists from Albania to Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University took place, financed by the Estonian development cooperation budget.

Culture

 

From 25-29 October 2010 the international short film festival First Step Film Fest took place in Tirana, Albania. The 150-film competition programme included the Estonian short film “Shift” (“Vahetus”). The film’s director Anu Aun was given the festival’s award for best director.

In November 2010 an exhibit introducing Albania’s history and culture as well as the legacy of Mother Theresa entitled “Mother Theresa: Gonxhe Bojaxhi, a Living Symbol of Love and Human Dignity” was on display in the Riigikogu building in Tallinn.

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