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Looking to further international trade, Tim Reid, CEO of UK Export Finance (UKEF) met with Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, and Finance Minister Deline Ibrahimaj to finalise a £4 billion trade deal.
£4 billion marks a doubling of the previously published market risk appetite for UKEF support for Albania and signals the huge opportunity available for UK exporters.
From 2021-2022, the UK exported over £144 million to Albania, representing an increase of £97 million in current prices on the previous year. The visit will build on this growing trade relationship and result in an agreement to work more closely.
Tim Reid said, “There is a significant opportunity here for UK businesses. The volume of trade with Albania is increasing dramatically, showing the huge appetite for British exports. With UKEF support, more companies can reap the rewards of exporting.
We also welcome the recent launch of the British Chamber of Commerce in Albania. This new organisation will help connect British and Albanian businesses.”
Reid added, “Our closer relationship with Albania will unlock a new phase of collaboration in sectors such as renewable energy, healthcare, and transport. Last year we celebrated our 100th year of trade relations, I’m looking forward to continuing our work with Albania and strengthening our great exporting relationship.”
Deals made between the two countries would help grow the UK economy, support job creation and help deliver the government’s wider levelling up agenda.
A £4 billion ambition would mean a minimum £800 million value to British businesses. This is because Albanian buyers would be required to source from the UK supply chain under the conditions of UKEF’s finance.
Albanian Finance Minister Delina Ibrahimaj said, “Albania has a pipeline of key infrastructure projects that need overseas investment. This agreement to work more closely with the UK should send a signal to British business that Albania has markets ready for your products and UKEF can support you in your export ambitions.”
UKEF has an International Export Finance Executive (IEFE)based in the Western Balkans who works alongside other government teams in these countries as well as covering Central and Eastern Europe.
The IEFE’s work closely with overseas buyers to showcase the UK supply chain. They are on hand all over the world to discuss financing options available from UKEF to support the exports of UK goods and/or services.
An example of UKEF support in the Eastern European region includes a £360 million guaranteed loan for the construction of a 5G-ready motorway in Serbia. UKEF support for this motorway project, announced in October 2021, is creating value worth approximately £125 million to the UK economy.