United States, Sweden Announce Albania’s 1st Tourism Investment and Finance Fund

A man and woman planting olive trees
USAID/Albania Country Representative, Marcus A. Johnson, and Minister of Urban Development, Englatina Gjermeni, symbolically plant three olive trees representing the three communities that will benefit from the Tourism Investment and Finance Fund project.
Edi Zela, U.S. Embassy Tirana

For Immediate Release

Thursday, July 14, 2016

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Embassy of Sweden in Albania announced today the first grant award recipient under the “Tourism as a Leading Edge” project to the Center for Economic and Business Education (CEBE). Over the next 32 months, CEBE will establish and operate Albania’s 1st Tourism Investment and Finance Fund, a multi-partner, member-owned, nonprofit foundation that will invest in and provide expert advisory to micro establishments working in the tourism sector.

Deputy Prime Minister Niko Peleshi, USAID Country Representative Marcus A. Johnson, Head of Development Cooperation for Sweden Birgitta Jansson, Minister of Urban Development, Eglantina Gjermeni, and Minister of Economic Development, Tourism, Trade and Entrepreneurship, Milva Ekonomi, delivered remarks at a ceremony to launch the Fund.

The Tourism Investment and Finance Fund, with support from the Government of Albania and the Municipalities of Belsh (Elbasan), Himara and Tirana, will invest in small agrotourism and ecotourism enterprises in the areas of Lakes of Belsh, Old Himara, and Pëllumbas.

Over the next five years, the United States and Sweden will invest $6.0 million, to be matched with $3.0 million of funds from ‎winning projects, to promote job creation and economic growth in Albania’s tourism sector.