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With a population of approximately 2.8 million inhabitants, Albania’s economy is mostly composed of SMEs. To a large extent the financial sector is driven by commercial banks, however, in recent years, thanks also to extensive regulation by the central bank (Bank of Albania – BoA), non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs) have picked up a significant portion of the market.

“The genesis of Albania’s EU accession talks dates back to June 2003, when Albania, alongside other Western Balkan countries, was identified as a potential candidate for EU membership,” explains Deloitte Legal Local Legal Partner Sabina Lalaj. While Hoxha, Memi & Hoxha Partner Eris Hoxha points out that Albania was a candidate country since 2014, official membership negotiations were opened only on March 25, 2020. According to Kalo & Associates Co-Managing Partner Aigest Milo, “the next step is for the first Inter-Governmental Conference to be held (presumably during the first semester of 2022),” but Hoxha says “no specific date has been determined yet.”

Tuca Zbarcea & Asociatii has advised Banca Transilvania on a EUR 49.5 million syndicated loan to the African Industries Group financing the acquisition of Thames Farming Enterprises. Dentons advised AIG on financing and the English law-governed acquisition, with Deloitte Legal's Reff & Associates also reportedly advising on the transaction.

In recent years, as a result of the global political and economic environment and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the e-commerce has become a preferred method for trading goods and services for both businesses and consumers. More and more online trading platforms are emerging, where platform operators connect sellers and buyers using different business models and payment mechanisms.