Albania Economy Overview

Albania Economy Overview

Today we have official calculations on the distribution of land in Albania. From them it appears that 3450 sq. Km. (12.5%) are represented by workable land, 8260 by natural meadows and pastures (36%), 9910 by woods (35.9%), 1518 (15.6%) by uncultivated and unproductive land (including inland waters).

It is confirmed that corn is the largest crop: in 1934-35 it occupied about 90,000 ha. (production q. 1,315,000); followed, among the cereals, the wheat, whose cultivation is extending (39.000 ha. and 433.000 q.), while oats (8700 ha. and 89.000 q.) and barley (4850 ha. and 55.000 q.) have very modest importance. Artificial meadows occupy about 25,000 ha. and they gave, in the years mentioned above, about 820,000 q. of forage. The consistency of the olive groves was calculated at 1,415,000 trees (about 136,000 q. Of olives).

According to directoryaah, there are also data for cattle and their products. Sheep rose to 1,567,000, goats to over 960,000 (both figures higher than previous estimates), cattle to about 400,000, horses to 145,600, pigs to 23,650. Poultry is of great importance (2 million head). Also in the aforementioned years 130,000 q. of milk, 13,750 of butter, 34,500 of cheese and 36,000 q. woolen. This last figure appears very modest compared to the number of sheep and confirms that the prevailing breeds are scarcely woolly.

As for mineral resources, attention has focused, especially in recent years, on oil, which has begun to be extracted, in the region between Semeni and Shkumbî north of Berat, by Italian companies; an oil pipeline transports the product to Valona, ​​which is then refined for the most part in Italy. On the annual quantity there are no official data so far. Considerable development has taken the export of timber from the forests of central and northern Albania.

Real industries are making modest progress: Albania remains a country with an essentially agricultural-pastoral economy. This is confirmed by trade statistics, which show that apart from oil and bitumen from the Selenizza mines, the main exports consist of livestock (575,000 gold in 1934), cheese (460,000), eggs (495,000), skins and related products (618,000), fish (432,000), wool (312,000). On the other hand, Albania imports cotton and cottons (gold fr. 3,370,000 in 1934), sugar (521,000), coffee (356,000), woolen (514,000), gasoline (628,000), etc. The situation of foreign trade in recent years is demonstrated by the following table:

It turns out that in recent years, while exports have shown fluctuations in various directions, imports, as a consequence of the world crisis, have contracted greatly. The highly passive balance forces Albania to resort to foreign credit. Italy absorbs, as in the past, the majority of exports, over 60%; followed by Greece (20%) and the United States (14%); the other countries are of negligible importance. On the other hand, for the import trade, Italy’s position is much more modest, being represented by 28-30% of imports; and it is remarkable that in second place is Japan (11-12%), above all by virtue of the cheapness of its products, infiltrating small currents in the country; Great Britain, Germany and Greece follow.

Very notable progress has been made in communications in Albania, above all thanks to the SVEA (Society for the Economic Development of Albania), which was established in 1925 and became in 1935, with a larger program, the Svea Foreign Financing Company. It has built about 275 km in the decade 1925-35. of new roads and made 1500 km of them accessible to vehicles and motor vehicles, also building about a hundred large and medium bridges. Today it is possible to travel all over Albania in the meridian direction from the Yugoslav border of Han’i Hotit, up to the Greek border of Perat. The two main cross roads are the Durres-Tirana road (38 km.), Which for now replaces the railway and continues east to the Yugoslav border at Peshkopìë, and the Durres-Elbasan-Lake Ochrida road, connected to the previous one by the Tirana-Elbasan. Among other roads, remember that from Lake Ochrida (Pogradeč) to Corizza and Perat; the Durres-Lushnjë-Berat-Valona; the Berat-Perat; the Valona-Gjirokastra-Greek border; the Chimara road (Valona-Santi Quaranta), etc. From Shkodra a good road leads to Puka (copper mines).

The works of the port of Durres have been completed, which encloses a vast body of water, with a mouth wide m. 2o0 between the east pier, 1328 m long, and the west pier, m. 935; the mirror is divided by a docking jetty long m. 520; there are 525 m. of descents. For the port of Vlora, see XXXIV, p. 942.

Civil aviation (p. 110). – It depends on the Ministry of National Defense, which controls the Tirana-Shkoder, Tirana-Corizza, Tirana-Valona, ​​Tirana-Thessaloniki, Tirana-Kukus, Tirana-Berat, Tirana-Gjirokaster air network; network managed by the Italian company “Ala Littoria”, which also operates the connection line with Italy: Brindisi-Tirana. The aforementioned air network has the following airports: Gjirokaster, Durres, Còrizza, Kukus, Peshkopìë, Shkodra, Tirana, Valona, ​​Berat.

Albania Economy Overview