The Economic Society of Albania in collaboration with Epoka University successfully organized the First Symposium on Promoting Manufacturing Industry in Albania on 24 November 2016. The symposium held at the premises of Sheraton Tirana Hotel gathered experts from academia, governmental institutions and the industry who offered their valuable experience in how to improve the manufacturing industry in Albania and overcome the existing obstacles. The symposium started with the welcoming speech of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Eglantina Hysa, Presidnet of ESA and Head of the Economics Department of Epoka University. Mrs. Hysa considered the meeting of great scientific and technical concern, as it aimed to establish a constructive dialogue and cooperation among relevant stakeholders in promoting manufacturing industry in Albania and beyond. She also emphasized the need to be aware of the great importance of the manufacturing sector in realizing Albania’s economic transformation especially in terms of expanding national exports and increasing employment.
The symposium then proceeded with the speeches of the panelists moderated by Dr. Timothy Hagen, lecturer at the Department of Economics at Epoka University. The first panelist, Mr. Lorenc Gjoni, Executive Director of the American Chamber of Commerce stated that the most important way of improving manufacturing is to make Albania a country that is attractive to people of brining the know-how of manufacturing. According to him, this could be achieved through a good infrastructure, human capital and a strong fair judicial system. He also pointed out the connections of Albania with Kosovo as he calls two countries of the same market. His speech was followed by Mr. Astrit Panxha, Executive Director of Kosovo Manufacturing Club who gave an overview of the history of manufacturing in Kosovo and introduced the audience with the most successful models of manufacturing around the world. He focused on the importance of attaching an identity to the quality in making the local products competitive in the global market. Then, the symposium proceeded with Mr. Dhimitraq Mosko, Head of the Technology and Innovation Sector of ARTI who informed the public on the financing opportunities offered by the office especially in terms of connecting academia with the government. Lastly, the symposium was honored by the presence of Mrs. Ermira Shehi, Head of Garmet Section, Textile and Fashion Department from Polytechnic University of Tirana. Mrs. Shehi represented a successful model of the collaboration academia- business where she introduced the way in which the department worked to accommodate students into the business garment and foot wear productions.
At the end of the speeches, Mr. Hagen gave the floor to the audience for questions and answer sessions. The audience involved experts from the private sector and representatives from public and private universities such as European University of Tirana, Canadian Institute of Technology and Aleksander Moisiu University Durres, whose questions and comments further enlightened the topic.
The event made a huge impact on the current discussion of manufacturing and served as a good platform to work on new innovative cooperative ideas.