Prior Activities

The World Bank-Puglia Region conference on remittances in Bari on March 3-4, 2006 marked the beginning of Convergence’s activities in Albania.

Consistent with our mandate to find practical solutions to financial intermediation opportunities, we made available to participants a concise compilation of concrete regulatory and technical interventions that would improve the service level to remittance providers and recipients.

During the conference, Convergence built the case for public-private cooperation and presented an Action Plan proposal. It also summarized the proceedings of the conference.

Following the conference, Convergence teamed up with the Italian Banking Association to analyze the potential market for remittances flows to Albania from Italy.

In a well attended seminar in Tirana on July 27, ABI presented an analysis of banking habits and needs of Albanian clients of Italian banks. Convergence offered an analysis of the best partnership opportunities, on a region-by-region basis, of Italian banks for the Albanian banking community.

ABI hosted a similar meeting in Milan on November 3, 2006 where a delegation of Albanian banks met with more than ten Italian banks interested in building up their bank remittance products in connection with Albania.

Separately, as first introduction of the public-private partnership for financial sector modernization concept, Convergence helped organize a seminar in Tirana on April 3, 2006 where Prof. Francesco Cesarini illustrated the main features of the Italian Banking Association activities, based on his Report. At the same event, attended by the Albanian public and private financial sector community, Convergence tabled a proposal to establish an SPI-like structure in Albania.

As an example of evidence-based policy design, Convergence prepared for the Albanian Association of Banks an analysis of the potential impact on bank intermediation of the proposed changes in collateral enforcement procedures – an activity where the AAB had prepared a technical paper for official consideration.

Convergence is ready to support the creation of an SPI Albania structure. Local public-private stakeholders have already expressed interest to create an institutional form to expedite financial sector modernization.