On 15-16 January 2019, in Vienna, Austria, hosted the Forum for Central and Eastern European Countries (CEI) – an annual “Euromoney” organization that brings together a common discussion table, well known figures of the field political, economic and financial issues from CEE countries.
The forum was conceived in the form of panels with specific topics, where attendees were invited to discuss the latest economic developments in European countries and beyond.
Of particular importance was the panel of governors of Central and Eastern European countries devoted to monetary policy. In this panel, including the Governor of the Bank of Albania, were also present: the Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia, Anita Angelovska Bezhoska, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Montenegro, Nikola Fabris, Governor of the National Bank of Georgia, Koba Gvenetadze.
Panel discussions focused on important topics related to the economies of CEE countries, and in particular: the expected effects of the end of monetary easing undertaken by the European Central Bank; the divergence of the cycles of the major global economies; the performance of inflation in the countries of the region; the prospects of the exchange rate market; structural changes in payment systems; the role of banks in monetary policy, etc.
In his speech, Governor Sejko made an expose of the Albanian economic and financial situation. He stressed that Albania is experiencing a stable cyclical recovery, with accelerated growth over the last three years, bringing the domestic economy closer to equilibrium.
Governor Sejko also said that the ECB’s monetary policy stance has a strong and direct impact on the economies and financial systems of the region as a result of the geographic proximity of markets, financial integration, and stronger cyclical convergence. In this perspective, the current monetary policy stance in the Eurozone has been in line with the easing monetary policy pursued by the Bank of Albania. Also, the tightening of monetary conditions in the Eurozone is expected to occur roughly in parallel with the reduction of the monetary stimulus in Albania.
For these reasons, the Governor assessed that Albania will not have any adverse effects on the completion of the monetary easing program followed by the European Central Bank. According to him, foreign investment inflows into Albania have been of direct nature in the production of energy and natural resources, so this would not lead to a capital flight or debt stress. He added that the exposure of the Albanian private sector to the debt markets is minimal, as the Albanian business is largely financed through private funds or through the domestic banking sector.
Further, the discussion continued with regard to the monetary policy pursued by the Federal Reserve, coupled with a strengthening of the dollar against the euro in international currency markets. The tightening of this policy, according to the Governor, would not directly affect Albania, in addition to the usual negative impacts on fuel and raw material prices.
During the panel discussions, the Governor also underlined the importance of continuing efforts for a faster integration of Western Balkan countries into the European Union, in order to accelerate the pace of economic growth, social welfare growth, and anchoring as much as the best of the country’s long-term prospects.
During this two-day forum, Governor Sejko held meetings with renowned international personalities, senior officials of central banks, and representatives of various commercial banks.
News Source: BoA