The Republic of Albania is a small former Communist nation situated on the Strait of Otranto which acts as a gateway between Western and Eastern Europe. Albania’s economy has steadily improved with a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $5,373 (2019 IMF estimate). Albania in April 2017 received a European Commission recommendation to open EU accession negotiations following the passage of historic EU-mandated justice reforms in 2016. Although Albania's economy continues to grow, it has slowed, and the country is still one of the poorest in Europe. A large informal economy and its weak energy and transportation infrastructure remain obstacles. The total estimated population is 3 million and the official language is Albanian.
Albania can be a good market for those companies willing to invest the time and resources to establish stable contacts. To enter the Albanian market, it is strongly recommended that companies find an agent and/or local distributor. The American Chamber of Commerce in Tirana, local chambers of commerce and industry, and the Albanian government agency for foreign investment promotion can provide assistance and guidance in finding an agent. Information and access to markets can be very difficult without local representatives who will have contacts and know-how to do business in this small-but-complex market. The Office of Agricultural Affairs in Rome covering Albania maintains lists of potential importers/distributors by sector.