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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
Albania is preparing a Medium-Term Revenue Strategy (MTRS) to finance its development spending of an estimated 2.2–3.0 percent of GDP over five years. Revenue mobilization will be supported by comprehensive tax policy and administration reforms. International and regional comparisons suggest that there is room for additional revenues as well as improvement in the composition of tax revenues. This report presents options for tax policy reform to raise at least an additional 1.34 percent of GDP in revenues over five years and to improve the quality and efficiency of the tax system, that will enable the mobilization of further domestic revenues.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper discusses Albania’s Ninth and Tenth Reviews under the Extended Arrangement and Proposal for Post-Program Monitoring. All performance criteria were met, although of the three indicative targets were missed by a narrow margin. Eleven structural benchmarks were also implemented. Over the past three years, the authorities have met most quantitative targets and have made good progress in implementing the structural reform agenda under the program, albeit with some delays. The IMF staff supports the completion of the Ninth and Tenth Reviews under the Extended Arrangement.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This paper aims to determine how much of the economic slowdown of Albania is owing to cyclical conditions and how much to a reduction in potential growth. The analysis shows that average growth in 2009–14 dropped by 3.2 percentage points relative to 1997–2008, of which 2.8 percentage points are due to lower potential growth. Albania has significant potential to improve its export competitiveness. However, Albania’s competitiveness has shown narrow improvements over the past five years, with weak productivity growth and continued concentration in low-skilled labor-intensive sectors with limited value added. This paper also explores the factors underpinning Albania’s relatively low level of general government revenues.
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
This Selected Issues paper on the Republic of Kosovo’s 2013 Article IV Consultation highlights growth and Kosovo’s external environment. In the wake of the global financial crisis, Kosovo’s economic growth slowed but remained positive, while most other Western Balkans slipped into recession. Moreover, the annual average growth rate has been among the highest in the Western Balkans since the onset of the financial crisis in 2007. Kosovo’s tax-to-GDP ratio is comparable to the average of Southeastern Europe, although its tax system relies significantly more on indirect taxation—including a high share of trade taxes. Kosovo’s reliance on trade taxes may create budgetary pressures in the event of further trade liberalization.
International Monetary Fund
During the 1990s, a failure to collect social contributions in Central and Eastern European countries deprived pension schemes of resources needed to meet their obligations. Based on these countries' experience, this paper examines the trend to increase coordination of tax and contribution collections. It sets out the rationale for establishing a unified agency as the best long-term strategy, and discusses policy and administrative issues in implementing this approach. The appendix presents three case studies for Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, which are establishing a unified revenue administration. Another case study is presented for Sweden, which successfully integrated tax and social contributions collections in the 1980s.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.
Natasha Koliadina
This paper reviews the developments in the social safety net system of Albania since the beginning of its economic adjustment program in mid-1992 through the third quarter of 1995. It shows that the social safety net system was quickly reformed, and that this allowed Albanian authorities to support the most needy groups of the population with income transfers. Notwithstanding the low administrative costs, the social safety net system is not financially sustainable. Expenditures are not balanced with revenues, and the gap cannot be closed in the short-run. Poor targeting of the benefits and administrative loopholes spur expenditures. Revenue growth is hindered by low compliance with the social security contributions. The paper concludes with some suggestions for addressing this issues.