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Albania: A Gateway To The Balkans

July 11th, 2016

AlbaniaIt might only have a current population of 2.89 million people1, but Albania is one of the more interesting countries in the Balkan region. With an interesting history and a colourful capital, it’s a must visit for anyone exploring the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region.

Albania is also the latest country to be added to the Xpress Money global money transfer network. We have partnered with top retail bank Banka Kombetare Tregtare (BKT) – an institution that has recently celebrated its 90th anniversary in the country – to make it easy for Albanians around the world to send money home. Our partnership with the award-winning BKT gives customers 58 countrywide locations to send and receive money in either EUR or USD.

Despite its compact size and population, Albania is a strategically important remittance destination. The country received USD 1087 million in inward remittances2, with the most active senders including Greece at USD 480 million, Italy at USD 393 million, and the United States at USD 81 million3. Albania also remits USD 219 million outwards annually 4, with Greece, the Czech Republic and Macedonia emerging as key receivers.

Albania has seen high net emigration, with Albanians looking further afield for employment opportunities. By 2013, 43.6% of the country’s population had emigrated5. This Albanian diaspora is now strengthening the volume of inward remittances to the country. In 2015, Albania was the only country in the Eastern and Central Asia (ECA) region to show an increase (of 8%) in inward remittances6.This was against a backdrop of a 20.3% decline in remittance flows to Europe and Central Asia through 2015 – largely triggered by the fall in the Russian rouble against the dollar, and a general contraction in the Russian economy7.

Yet the entire ECA region is expected to recover strongly in 2016, with remittances slated to grow by 5.1%. And Xpress Money will be on hand to assist customers in these new markets with competitive and convenient money transfer facilities.

References

1. https://countrymeters.info/en/Albania

2. https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/migrationremittancesdiasporaissues/brief/migration-remittances-data

3. https://siteresources.worldbank.org/INTPROSPECTS/Resources/334934-1199807908806/4549025-1450455807487/Factbookpart1.pdf

4. https://pubdocs.worldbank.org/en/661301460400427908/MigrationandDevelopmentBrief26.pdf

5. https://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/04/13/remittances-to-developing-countries-edge-up-slightly-in-2015

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