SPI Albania

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Context

On 19 January 2008, the Governor of Bank of Albania and the Vice-President of the Albanian Banking Association launched SPI Albania in a press conference in Bari, organized at the margin of Italy's Annual Banking Convention, and chaired by Regione Puglia President Nichi Vendola.

Regione Puglia supported SPI Albania in the context of the Aquifalc project, financed by EU Regional Cooperation Funds, and implemented by the Centro Italo-Albanese per la Ricerca Economica e Sociale, affiliated with the Department of Economics of the University of Bari.

In spring 2008, Bank of Albania and the Albanian Association of Banks launched SPI Albania's Financial Sector Modernization Program. The Program is placed under the oversight of a high-level committee (The SPI Committee) and orchestrated by a two-person secretariat (The SPI Secretariat) supported by the World Bank’s Convergence Program (Bucharest, Washington and Rome). Aquifalc has generously supported important analytical activities of the Program.

 

As first introduction of the public-private partnership for financial sector modernization concept, Convergence Program 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 Platform in Albania.

Approach

The novelty of the program lies in its strong practical focus evidenced by four aspects:

  • Ex-ante agreement among public and private stakeholders on issues needing reform;
  • Quantification of the economic impact of the proposed changes for each stakeholder;
  • Extensive analytical and consensus-building discussions within public-private working groups supported by expert advice if necessary; and
  • Ongoing focus on enactment.