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Meeting with Ms. Ardita Seknaj, Secretary General of the International Chamber Of Commerce Albania

On August 1, 2017 the Coordination Unit of the NBF, Ms. Ballesha along with ACER team (member of NBF) held a meeting with Ms. Ardita Senkaj, secretary general of the CCI in Albania.  To Ms. Seknaj the Forum has been introduced more than one year ago and she was part of the Tirana Regional Business Forum (September 2016) and at the NBA launch (March 2017).
After Ms. Ballesha introduced the work done by NBF form the NBA launching, and Ms. Seknaj presented the work done by ICC Albania during the last year, they discussed about the main concerns and problematic concerning business in Albania and about the economic business climate. The main concerns stressed were:
-The lack of cooperation between business organizations and the difficult conditions of most Albanian business organizations (lack of staff, funds, etc.)
-The problems faced by business community with the public private dialogue
- Public corruption and lack of administration professionalism

Outcome: Ms. Seknajcomplimented the work done so far by the Forum and was enthusiastic that finally in Albania business organizations could work together for this long time without thinking only on personal interest but joining forces to strength the business community voice.
She stressed that no one in the beginning of NBF thought that an independent and volunteer coalition could work so well by not being used by the government or being affected by the organizations that have public intervention.
As one of the issues discussed during the meeting (the public private dialogue) was a concern for both organizations (NBF and ICC Albania) and as Ms. Seknaj found very useful the conclusions and recommendations presented at the NBA, it was agreed that during the last trimester of 2017 to raise the issue of public private dialogue by involving also other organizations. Ms. Seknaj will present this in the next general assembly meeting of ICC Albania and in the next months will have again a meeting with the CU to discuss what was agreed.

Meeting with NDI representatives

On July 24, 2017 Ms. Esmeralda Ballesha, the Coordination Unit of the National Business Forum (NBF) and Mr. Zef Preci, Executive Director of Acer and in the mean time NBF Member met with NDI representatives in Albania, Ana Kadovic, Resident Director and Gasper Gjeluci, Senior Program Officer.
After presenting the work done so far from NBF in empowering business community voice by working together on issues of common interest in dialogue with public, Mr. Preci and CU presented to them also the publications produced so far by NBF and the NBA launched several months ago.
Ms. Kadovic introduced what NDI have done the last years in Albania, and complimented NBF for the initiative and the work done so far as she confirmed that the framework in Albania is very difficult to make such initiative work for a long time on voluntary basis.
During the meeting, future possible collaborations were discussed, especially in relation with the NBF's engagement with youth in political parties. A proposed suggestion was inviting a representative of NBF in one of the meetings that NDI will organize and discuss about NBA topics and also bridge ideas to empower youth through economic expertise orientation

Meeting with the Local Committee President at AIESEC Albania

On July 21, 2017, the Coordination Unit and ACER team met with Mr. Kristian Gjergji, Local committee president at AIESEC Albania.
The initial conversation was about the work done so far by NBF in empowering business community and the newly launch of the NBA, furthermore Mr. Gjergji presented the work done by AIESEC Albania, in supporting talented students and providing them a platform for youth leadership development.
This meeting aimed at finding mutual interest areas of collaboration and discussing on future partnership possibilities.
AIESEC representative set the idea of inviting the CU of NBF as a guest speaker at the yearly event of Youth Speak Forum, where famous public people, transmit messages to young people on different opportunities that Albania offers to them, but this will be something that will be confirmed by AIESEC in the future after discussing it in the board meeting.

Dr Preçi’s interview with SCAN TV

On July 11, 2017 Dr. Zef Preçi, Executive Director of Albanian Center for Economic Research (ACER), was invited in  a Scan TV program. The main topic of discussion was about “Berlin Process” and more specifically about the Trieste summit that took place on July 11.
Mr. Preçi stated that the gist of this initiative has been to keep open the door of the integration of the Western Balkans countries and to increase regional security and stability. He then added that, overall the expected result of this process has been the improvement of governance, but this initiative has only served for domestic political consumption to the regional leaders.
ACER’s Executive Director stated that the weakening of EU during the last decade have created a favorable atmosphere for the increase of political leaders’ arrogance. He also mentioned the Western Balkan’s lack of capacities and expertise to build joint projects and programs for which EU and Germany offered their financial support. Mr Preçi concluded that the WB common market is an opportunity that should be seized.

Meeting with the Central Inspectorate

CU's meeting with Central Inspectorate
 On July 7, 2017, the Coordination Unit and two other NBF members, the Albanian Tourism Association and Women’s Association, attended a meeting with Shkelqim Hajdari, General Inspector from the Central Inspectorate.
Central Inspectorate initiated this meeting to reinvigorate its previous working contacts after several years’ hiatus in pursuing any public private dialogue.
The meeting was attended by the following guests: Union of Chambers of Commerce, National Business Forum CU, and members, Investment Council, national and international business organizations and media.
The main issues discussed were the challenges that are common to business and tax inspectors, more specifically the following: Online inspections (from 10 July all inspectors will be using the electronic inspection system "e-Inspection") increasing business awareness and increasing the transparency of public Inspectorates to better collaborate with  the private business.
The Inspectorate didn’t react to the NBF’s proposals in any way (due to the format of the meeting; wasn’t one-on-one dialogue with NBF).
During the meeting, Coordination Unit and one other Forum member introduced some of the National Business Agenda (NBA) recommendations related to the discussion issues (to improve the inspectorates’ functioning).
To further discuss the NBA, a meeting with Mr. Shkëlqim Hajdari, General Inspector of the Central Inspectorate will be arranged. A copy of the NBA was sent to the General Inspectorate email address to consult priory the NBF recommendations next meeting that will be realized within September 2017.
The Inspectorate has a legislative initiative but it remains to be seen whether it will translate into any changes due to the heavily centralized legislative decision-making system in Albania. The Central Inspectorate at the moment coordinates and monitors the following inspectorates:
·         National Inspectorate of the Territory Defense
·         Railway Inspection Directorate
·         The General Directorate of Metrology and the Albanian Authors’ Right office
·         State Inspectorate of Education
·         The State Labor and Social Services Inspectorate
·         State Health Inspectorate
·         National Agency for Medicines and Medical Devices
·         The radiation protection office
·         Technical and Industrial State Inspectorate
·         Inspection Department of Mine Clearance
·         State Inspectorate of Environment and Forestry

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