Ermal Nazifi, May 29, 2012
Albania has been one of the most isolated and underdeveloped European countries for centuries, despite its great potential because of favorable geographic position and its relative richness in natural resources. After the Second World War, Albania suffered from one of the harshest communist regimes in the world, and a total isolation in every aspect. When the regime collapsed in 1990, the GDP per Capita of Albania was calculated at $450, placing Albania between Lesotho and Sri Lanka as the 32nd lowest developed country in the world.
Although the communist regime invested a lot in the industrial development of the country, production was constrained by the mismanagement and inefficiency that characterize communist systems. One of the main reasons for this inefficiency was the total absence of competition as the economic system was strictly centrally planned.
After the start of the transition of the Albanian economy from a planned to an open market economy, the need for introduction of rules that assured free and effective competition was imminent.
The first law that dealt with the protection of competition was “On Competition,” no. 8044, dated December 7, 1995. The approval of this law is the cornerstone of the institutionalization of competition law in Albania. This law included provisions on monopolies, dominant position, and unfair competition. Also, this law regulated the rights and the duties of all actors of the market: consumers and clients looking for goods or services, as well as undertakings that offer these goods or services. But the implementation of this law in practice was difficult despite the endeavors of the competent institutions.