Albania – an undiscovered beauty

Crystal-clear water, long beaches, canyons in which geologists would rejoice, cultural highlights dating back more than 2500 years, local food which can compete with gourmet restaurants, uncountable olive trees, serene landscapes and lakes that ask for silence and contemplation, people who make you feel like a king in their home… you wonder, if you are really in Albania, a country quite unknown to most of us.

Albania – or Republika e Shqipërisë in the country language – covers an area of about 28,000 km² (roughly one third of Austria) and has appr. 3 Mio inhabitants. Surrounded by Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece it can also offer a coast line of roughly 300km.

As the Albanian Daily News stated in its July 7th edition, “agribusiness is a vital sector of Albania’s economy. It provides employment for around 50% of the population and accounts for around 20% of the country’s GDP”. It justifies the Albanian Agribusiness Support Facility, a financial instrument, which is supported by the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development, thus providing loans to accelerate investments and improvements in this sector.

While there are still a lot of remains from the Enver Hoxha regime, which lasted 40 years – e.g. the ever present bunkers, spread over the whole country, we can enjoy excavations in Butrint, admire the UNESCO cities Berat and Gjirokastër and encounter donkeys instead of trucks or trailers as a means of transportation.

Faleminderit & Mirupafshim!

Elisabeth Hönigsberger

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