Albania flag Albania: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Albania

Foreign Trade in Figures

The country’s trade represents 61% of its GDP and is mostly made with Europe (World Bank, latest data available). The country mainly exports footwear and their parts, suits, bars and rods of iron or non-alloy steel, and cement; while it imports mostly motor cars, petroleum oils, pharmaceutical products and electrical energy.

The European Union remains Albania's main trading partner, as there is a Free Trade Agreement in force with the EFTA states. Italy accounts for almost half of total exports (45.4%), followed by Serbia (12%), Spain (6.1%), Germany (5.9%) and Greece (4.9%). The bulk of imports come from Italy (25.1%), Turkey (9.6%), Greece (9%), and China (8.6% - Comtrade).

Albania's trade balance is structurally in deficit, mainly because exports are neither sufficiently diversified nor competitive in terms of price and because of the country’s narrow production base. In 2020, merchandise exports reached USD 2.5 billion (-7.7% y-o-y), while imports decreased at a slower pace (5.5%), to reach USD 5.5 billion. However, the country is a net exporter of commercial services, which stood at USD 2.4 billion against USD 1.2 billion of imports (-33.9% and -45.5% y-o-y, respectively - data by WTO). In 2020, the external deficit on goods and services stood at 14.7% of the country’s GDP (from 13.6% one year earlier - World Bank, latest data available). Overall, Albanian trade is still hindered by the country’s weak energy, transport infrastructure and limited financial access. According to data from the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT), Albania’s exports surged 35.6% in 2021 (to ALL 369 billion). Meanwhile, imports also surged faster to ALL 801 billion, up 32.3% year-on-year. Thus, Albania’s trade deficit in 2021 stood at ALL 432 billion, up 29.6% compared to 2020.

 
Foreign Trade Values 20162017201820192020
Imports of Goods (million USD) 4,6695,2715,9255,8975,570
Exports of Goods (million USD) 1,9622,2922,8702,7162,506
Imports of Services (million USD) 1,7711,8982,1932,3011,254
Exports of Services (million USD) 2,6513,1933,5743,7432,474

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20162017201820192020
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 74.878.276.976.961.3
Trade Balance (million USD) -2,881-3,205-3,381-3,517-3,420
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) -2,002-1,979-2,070-2,103-2,204
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 6.98.42.43.0-19.8
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 11.313.24.16.0-25.6
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 45.846.645.345.338.1
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 29.031.631.631.523.2

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 2022 (e)2023 (e)2024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change) 11.22.31.04.03.8
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change) 7.31.61.34.13.7

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

 
International Economic Cooperation
Member of the IMF, the World Bank and the Council of Europe.
 

Main Partner Countries

Main Customers
(% of Exports)
2020
Italy 45.3%
Serbia 12.1%
Spain 6.0%
Germany 5.4%
Greece 5.0%
See More Countries 26.1%
Main Suppliers
(% of Imports)
2020
Italy 25.2%
Türkiye 9.6%
China 9.0%
Greece 9.0%
Germany 7.8%
See More Countries 39.4%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

Main Products

2.4 bn USD of products exported in 2020
Parts of footwear, incl. uppers whether or not...Parts of footwear, incl. uppers whether or not attached to soles other than outer soles; removable in-soles, heel cushions and similar articles; gaiters, leggings and similar articles, and parts thereof (excl. articles of asbestos) 7.9%
Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics,...Footwear with outer soles of rubber, plastics, leather or composition leather and uppers of leather (excl. orthopaedic footwear, skating boots with ice or roller skates attached, and toy footwear) 5.5%
Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers,...Men's or boys' suits, ensembles, jackets, blazers, trousers, bib and brace overalls, breeches and shorts (excl. knitted or crocheted, wind-jackets and similar articles, separate waistcoats, tracksuits, ski suits and swimwear) 5.1%
Bars and rods, of iron or non-alloy steel, not...Bars and rods, of iron or non-alloy steel, not further worked than forged, hot-rolled, hot-drawn or hot-extruded, but incl. those twisted after rolling (excl. in irregularly wound coils) 3.5%
Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not...Cement, incl. cement clinkers, whether or not coloured 2.4%
See More Products 75.6%
5.4 bn USD of products imported in 2020
Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally...Motor cars and other motor vehicles principally designed for the transport of persons, incl. station wagons and racing cars (excl. motor vehicles of heading 8702) 4.9%
Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous...Petroleum oils and oils obtained from bituminous minerals (excl. crude); preparations containing >= 70% by weight of petroleum oils or of oils obtained from bituminous minerals, these oils being the basic constituents of the preparations, n.e.s.; waste oils containing mainly petroleum or bituminous minerals 4.5%
Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed...Medicaments consisting of mixed or unmixed products for therapeutic or prophylactic uses, put up in measured doses "incl. those in the form of transdermal administration" or in forms or packings for retail sale (excl. goods of heading 3002, 3005 or 3006) 3.5%
Electrical energyElectrical energy 1.5%
Leather further prepared after tanning or crusting...Leather further prepared after tanning or crusting "incl. parchment-dressed leather", of bovine "incl. buffalo" or equine animals, without hair on, whether or not split (excl. chamois leather, patent leather and patent laminated leather, and metallised leather) 1.3%
See More Products 84.3%

Source: Comtrade, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

 
 

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.

 

Main Services

Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2022. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: November 2022

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