John Szepietowski Advises that the United Kingdom and Albania have signed a Post Brexit Trade Agreement

The United Kingdom’s diplomatic relationship with Albania originated circa 1922 and was restored in May 1991. Since then, the United Kingdom has been supportive of Albania, particularly in their application to join the European Union and the North Atlantic Territory Agreement (NATO). Although Albania is not a member of the European Union, Albania joined NATO in 2009.

A Partnership, Trade, and Cooperation Agreement (‘The Agreement’) was entered into on 5th February 2021 between the United Kingdom and Albania given the United Kingdom’s recent non-European Union status. The Agreement is expected to come into full effect in the upcoming months and has taken place under the World Trade Organisation’s terms.

The Agreement includes provisions regarding the economic, political, and cultural ties. Emphasis was given on the matter of reducing organised crime between the countries, to ensure citizens of both countries’ safety is prioritised. The United Kingdom plans on lending a helping hand in aiding Albania to undertake better governance and political practices within its country by supporting justice reforms and all round development.

Prior to the Agreement, the United Kingdom traded with Albania on the same terms that Albania had agreed with the European Union. The Agreement allows room for the countries to enhance their trading relationship in the future and is set to enable Britain to continue trading on the same terms as it did on and prior to 31st December 2020. In 2019, the trading relationship between the countries was valued at £158 million which the countries plan to exceed through their new partnership. The majority of the countries’ trade relationship is comprised of service trade as both countries have less to offer in terms of goods. The Agreement is expected to benefit both exporters and consumers in both countries.

The United Kingdom ambassador based in Tirana, Duncan Norman, expressed the vast opportunities available in Albania to British companies wishing to expand their business across the southeast of Europe. In recent years, businesses such as Vodafone have opened up locations across Albania, and other businesses are set to follow suit. The Agreement further creates prospects for transnational career opportunities for both U.K and Albanian citizens.

The Agreement heralds much needed cross-border cooperation in the fields of energy, education, finance, and the environment. With greater investment opportunities for both countries to boost economic development nationally.

Please contact John Szepietowski at Audley Chaucer for details on this matter or any other legal topic All matters stated are correct as at the date of this publication.

Larissa Bourgi

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