Albania has stepped up its efforts to become more investor friendly by signing a memorandum of understanding with the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The agreement sets ground for co-operation between EBRD and the National Economic Council, the newly formed Albanian entity focusing on improving the country's business climate. The agreement focuses on issues such as improving the country's legal framework and tackling corruption, and comes five months after Edi Rama, the country's prime minister, formed his reformist government.

“By signing this agreement we are taking a major step forward in unleashing the economic potential of this country. Creating the right business environment is as critical as ever today and we are confident that we will make rapid progress with the EBRD’s support,” said Mr Rama shortly after signing the memorandum.

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Suma Chakrabarti, EBRD's president, praised Albania for its courage in tackling the challenges that the country is facing head-on. Albania ranked 90 out of 189 economies in the most recent Doing Business ranking by the World Bank. The country scored particularly badly in three areas of the ranking: providing construction permits, access to electrical grids and having a complicated tax regime.

Data from greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets shows that between 2003 and 2013 Albania had one of the worst track records in Europe for attracting FDI projects, with only Montenegro and Kosovo trailing the country. 

Explaining the reasons behind the country's poor performance in attracting crossborder investments, Mr Rama told fDi in an interview conducted at the end of 2013 that his country "...has been obstructed by corruption and unpredictable fiscal legislation". But he added that Albania is "on the right track to fight organised crime and the system of bribery, and there is a massive effort to modernise the mechanics of the system".