President Borut Pahor strengthens ties with Albania – OpEd – Eurasia Review
On March 4 and 5, 2019, at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta, the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, paid an official visit to Albania; strengthen bilateral economic dialogue.
Slovenia, as a member of the European Union, is the most prosperous economy in south-eastern Europe and is a prime example of a thriving market economy where food processing industry and businesses dominate the new international markets and ensure more than 650 million euros of net turnover per year. The example of effective public policies and diplomatic engagements led by the Slovenian government is vital for other Balkan countries, including Albania. President Pahor’s visit to Tirana is a clear demonstration of his support for establishing a more prosperous partnership and strategic dialogue between the two nations, especially in the areas of economic cooperation, regional trade, the tourism industry and sustainable development.
Albania, as a nation with a fragile economy, hit by unsuccessful historical consequences – with over 40 years of brutal totalitarian rule inherited in Europe (1945-1991) – has a unique opportunity to learn from the past experiences of the Slovenian government as it quickly joined the EU in May 2004. Slovenia is a thriving democracy that radiates progress, economic growth and a highly sophisticated tourism industry; As part of this partnership, Tirana would propel its aspirations for integration into the EU by working closely with Ljubljana in the direction of adapting “Slovenia-like” measures to enhance transparency and remove the bureaucracy and red tape that hinder industrial development.
There is a plethora of positive bilateral engagements, especially in the areas of tourism infrastructure and regional transport projects that would benefit the entire region and accelerate the full integration of the Southeast Adriatic into the thriving family of the ‘EU.
Furthermore, the experience of internationalization of the Slovenian food industry is an achievement and an effective strategy that could guide Albanian farmers on how to promote their products and shape internationally attractive brands that can increase their global presence.
The high-level visits organized between the authorities of the two governments, in these unprecedented times, are of vital importance; in particular for Albania, faced with many obstacles including the socio-economic consequences of November 26e (2019) Earthquake and Public Health Pandemic; indeed, a heartbreaking natural disaster that continues to affect the country’s economic performance.
Tourism, the green economy and the non-GMO organic food industry are some of the areas where Albania can develop significantly under the leadership of Slovenian experts who have made Ljubljana a major investment hub. private with transparent executive government.
The political situation in Albania is about to change; a closer economic partnership with Slovenia is essential; geographical proximity should still unite the two nations.