DIASPORA’S BRIDGES. Presentation of Connect Albania, a new mechanism to invest in Albania. – Second presentation event


After its official launch in December 2020, Connect Albania continues its journey by addressing the requests of individuals from Albanian Diaspora to be certified as Interested Development Agents and to facilitate the foreign investments in Albania. As part of this journey, on 5 February 2021, IOM Albania organized the on-line event “DIASPORA’S BRIDGES, Connect Albania Program, a New Investment Mechanism in Albania” to present Connect Albania Programme to the Albanian Diaspora and entrepreneurs mainly in the central part of Italy.

In this second online presentation event “ participated H.E. Mr. Pandeli Majko, State Minister for Diaspora; H.E. Mr. Eduard Shalsi, State Minister for Protection of Entrepreneurship; Cons. Alberto Petrangeli, – Deputy Ambassador of Italian Embassy in Tirana; Ms. Alma Jani, Head of Office IOM Albania; Mr. Bestart Kadia, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Finance and Economy; Mr. Armand Skapi, General Secretary, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs; Mr. Daniele Frigeri, Director of CESPI; Connect Albania Programme office representatives, as well as Mr. Davide Malferrari, Mr. Geri Cakoni and Ms. Federica Innocenti, who shared their journey of of Foreign Investments in Albania.

“This is a new model of working which attracts the attention of worldwide business who will want to invest in Albania through members of Albanian Diaspora. The mechanism, now fully operational, is facilitating the engagement of Albanian Diaspora members as Development agents/connectors, who will be awarded for successful investments in Albania” highlighted Ms, Alma Jani, Head of Office of IOM Albania during the opening remarks.

The second online event was focused on priority sectors as Qualified Third-Sector Services (Architecture & Engineering, Corporate Management, Logistic & Delivery, Tourism and Horticulture).

During the event, information was also shared on the added value of Connect Albania Program as the first investment boosting mechanism which engages the Albanian Diaspora, the reasons for investing in Albania, as well as the Albania’s economy potential, investments, benefits.

“I believe in the importance of the Connect Albania project. Together with the Ministry of Economy and Finance, we are considering transforming the project into a permanent administrative unit under the jurisdiction of this institution, “said Mr. Pandeli Majko, State Minister for the Diaspora.

A special attention was dedicated to the criteria on how to become an ‘Interested Development Agent’ to mediate foreign investments in Albania.  The individuals applying to be certified as ‘Interested Development Agent’ must be at least 18 years old, should have a residence permit outside the Republic of Albania for at least 5 (five) years, and should have completed at least the secondary education. These persons must submit to the Platform, the documents required by the Regulation of Connect Albania Program, which is published in the Connect Albania Program website The successful Development Agents will receive a Bonus in case the investment they intermediate and facilitate is successful, based on the approved Regulation.

According to INSTAT, there are nearly 1.7 million Albanians live outside the country, mostly in Europe, but also with significant presence in North America (USA and Canada) as well as other parts of the world, representing a huge and largely untapped opportunity.

Albania has always had a strong link with Italy. The excellent relations between the two countries are based on deep historical, cultural and economic foundations made even more solid by the presence in Italy of over 500,000 citizens of Albanian origin. The Italian Cooperation has been present in Albania since 1991. “Connect Albania is a very important project and as an Italian state we are very proud to support it. The economic relationship between Italy and Albania is very special,” noted Cons. Alberto Petrandeli, Italian Deputy Ambassador to Albania.

“This project uplifts Albanian Diaspora from the role of a migratory remittance fund to that of an active contributor to the development of the home country. Our ministry has been and remains a strategic partner of the IOM Diaspora Programme which includes the Connect Albania mechanism, providing them with the necessary support. The extensive Albanian diplomatic network could help (initially in Italy and then in other countries) the promotion of Connect Albania,” said Mr. Armand Skapi, the Secretary General at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

After piloting the Program in the current stage with the Albanian Diaspora and potential investors mainly in Italy, when fully fledged, Connect Albania will become a sustainable investment boosting mechanism to foster the engagement of the Albanian Diaspora worldwide in the social and economic development of the country.

“We are affected by the pandemic, but thanks to the measures and reforms undertaken we have all the potential for a quick recovery. With Connect Albania our country has an extra viaticum to exploit its development potential,” concluded his speech Mr. Eduart Shalsi, the State Minister for the Protection of Entrepreneurship.

Connect Albania is part of the IOM Albania Programme “Engage the Albanian Diaspora to the Social and Economic Development of Albania” funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and implemented in cooperation with the Minister of State for Diaspora, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Economy (through the Agency for Direct Investments in Albania (AIDA)) and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Tirana.


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