Albania - Industry

Before World War II, industry was confined to a cement plant at Shkodër and to small-scale flour-milling, food-processing, cigarette-making, and fellmongery. In 1937–39, industry's contribution to the GNP was only 10%, by far the lowest in Eastern Europe. There was virtually no export of industrial products. After the war, the government emphasized industrial development, primarily development projects. Gross industrial output increased annually by 20% during 1951–60, by 12% during 1961–70, by 9% during 1971–80, by 5% during 1981– 85, and by 3% during 1986–90. The socialized sector accounted for over 95% of gross output by the late 1950s and 100% by the 1970s. The industrial labor force, which virtually tripled between 1946 and 1960, continued to increase rapidly during the 1960s and, in 1994, 15% of all wage and salary earners were employed in industry (including mining).

Industrial production fell 44% in 1992 and 10% in 1993, but by 1995 industrial productivity was growing at a rate of 6%. Privatization was proceeding slowly, with joint state-private ventures planned or sale of state enterprises at auction. In 1994, over one-half of the nonfarm workforce was employed by the state. As of 2002, the industrial sector accounted for 27% of GDP. Major industries include food processing, textiles and clothing, lumber, oil, cement, chemicals, and basic metals. Albania has two oil refineries, with a capacity of 26,000 barrels per day in 2002. In 2001, the government privatized a brewery, distillery, dairy, and pharmaceutical company, and planned to sell the Savings Bank of Albania and INSIG, the state-owned insurance company. The contruction sector showed potential for growth in 2002–03, as the country had a housing deficit and existing housing is old and in poor condition.

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