The remittances of the emigrants continue to have quite important in the Albanian economy; however, the high transfer costs and complicated procedures have brought about 40% of them to arrive in Albania through informal cash channels.
A detailed report by the Albanian central bank has shown that an average of around 1,15 billion a year has passed through the country during the last decade, representing about 12% of Albania's total GDP.
The figures are considerably higher than those officially reported in the annual budget of the country, where they are around the 636 million euros. The reason for this difference lies in the fact that the report just published by the central bank would seem to take into consideration also the remittances that pass through informal channels.
The bank, in fact, estimates that 39% of remittances flow through unregulated channels, 57% through non-bank financial institutions, and only 4% through banks, due to high transfer costs and complicated procedures.
Albania has around 1,2 million emigrants spread around the world, about 40% of its current population. While Albania has benefited from the remittances and investments of the emigrants, on the other there has been a rapid aging of the population of the country, caused also by the decrease in the birth rate.
Remittances, however, continue to be a key source of income for Albanian families, especially for the northern and north-eastern districts.
The high transfer costs are one of the main reasons for the high levels of informal remittance flows in the country. The costs, in fact, amount on average to 9,4% of the amounts transferred compared to the Balkan average of 7,2%, according to the central bank.
The average cost of remittances is estimated to have fallen in this first quarter of 2018 to 8,64% of the value of the amount, however still higher than the average of Europe and Central Asia of 7,55%.
For the experts, the phenomenon of remittances will be reduced with the passage of time: in addition to the impacts of the crisis, in fact, according to experts, remittances will continue to decrease due to social factors, given that most of the emigrants create their own family 'foreign and often brings with it its own parents.
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