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Fischer: Room for Further Trade with Albania

Published: May 22, 2014; 10:33 · (Vindobona)

Austrian President Heinz Fischer was paying a visit to Western Balkan States.

Austrian President Fischer meets his Albanian counterpart Nishani. / Picture: © Österreichische Präsidentschaftskanzlei / Lechner/HBF

Austrian President Fischer presented himself confident that Albania will be granted the status of candidate for accession to the EU. “I am very confident that there will be a positive decision in June,” Fischer said on Tuesday during his visit in the Albanian capital Tirana. Next month the heads of the states and governments in the European Union will decide whether or not the Western Balkan state will be granted the status of an accession candidate.

His Albanian counterpart Bujar Nishani shares Fischer’s conviction. During the joint press conference Nishani pointed out that the steady path towards the European Union was marked with many challenges and support by partners like Austria was “irreplaceable”.

During his visit in Tirana, Fischer was accompanied by around 60 business representatives under the leadership of Christoph Leitl, president of the Austrian Chamber of Commerce (WKO), who took part in an economic forum. After Canada and Greece Austria is the third biggest investor in Albania. Among the enterprises active in the Western Balkan country are Raiffeisenbank as well as the electricity utility companies Verbund and EVN.

According to Fischer the economic cooperation between Austria and Albania proved successful, however, there was room for further development, which, as stressed by the Austrian President, had to be used in the future. Against this backdrop fulfilling European standards in a high degree are an “important and grateful” task of the future, according to Fischer, who traveled to Montenegro on Wednesday to lead working discussions with President Filip Vujanovic and long-term Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. Montenegro has led accession talks with the EU for about two years and is first on the list of Western Balkan candidates to join the union.

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