FDI into Albania has been rising steadily since the early 2000s. These investments are essentially in the oil, metal ore, infrastructure, construction and telephony sectors. Albania has applied a policy framework favorable to FDI, and has more recently introduced policies to support private sector development in general. In recent years, the government has enacted reforms to improve the overall business climate in the country by streamlining business procedures through e-government reforms and improved legislation in a variety of sectors. The government currently is drafting a new Law on Investment that will provide investment incentives and fast-track registration and licensing procedures for strategic foreign investors. The Albanian legal system does not discriminate against foreign investors. Albania has implemented a liberal foreign investment regime with the goal of increasing foreign direct investment. Additionally, in September 2010, the parliament approved several amendments to this law that provide special protection for foreign investment in the tourism, energy and agriculture sectors. Aiming at encouraging foreigners willing to invest in Albania, the law provides considerable guarantees to them, consisting of: Judicial protection of foreign investors with respect to the legal rights related to their investments. Foreign investors may bring disputes before an Albanian court, or refer the case to arbitration. The relevant provisions governing domestic and international commercial arbitration are incorporated in the Albanian Code of Civil Procedure. Investors in Albania are entitled to judicial protection of the rights related to their investment. The parties to a dispute may agree to submit disputes for consideration by an arbitration institution. In the event of a failure of such arbitration, foreign investors have the right to submit the dispute to an Albanian court or to the Arbitration Court in Tirana. In the event of a dispute regarding discrimination, transfer of assets, or indirect expropriation of foreign investment by the Government, the investor may submit the dispute to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Ratified international agreements have legal superiority over domestic legislation in Albania in matters relating to FDI.
Keywords: Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), Arbitration, Albania