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Bank of Albania

10/11/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/11/2019 08:23

Bank of Albania organises the Annual Conference ''A brave new world? The future of banking in emerging Europe”

The Bank of Albania co-organises with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) the Annual Conference: 'Monetary Policy, Economic Integration and the 'New Normal'', on 11 October 2019.

This conference is organised under the auspices of the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr Gent Sejko, and was attended by the President of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Mr. Ilir Meta, the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Anila Denaj, the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Economy and Finance, Mr Arben Ahmetaj, Government ministers and members of the Albanian Parliament. The conference was also attended by governors, deputy governors, and high-level representatives and board members from other central banks, Ambassadors in Albania, representatives from international financial institutions - such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, representatives from the academia, the banking and financial systems, the media, and staff members of the Bank of Albania.

This is the second year that the Bank of Albania co-organises its Annual Conference with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), among the top 10 universities in the world in the field of social, economic, political and international studies.

Organised in four sessions, conference proceedings were opened by the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr Gent Sejko; the Director of LSE's Institute of Global Affairs (IGA), Mr Erik Berglof; the Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Economy and Finance, Mr Arben Ahmetaj, the Minister of Finance and Economy, Ms Anila Denaj; and the President of the Republic of Albania, H.E. Mr. Ilir Meta.

In his address, Governor Sejko presented an overview of macroeconomic developments in Albania. He stated that the financial system and the banking sector at the heart of it play a unique role for economic development and welfare in Albania, highlighting that the efficiency, stability and sophistication of the financial system are essential preconditions for rapid, stable and comprehensive growth.

Focusing on the economic outlook in Albania, the Governor emphasised that the Bank of Albania has worked on improving the regulatory architecture of the financial system in Albania and strengthening financial safety nets, together with other public agencies and international institutions.

'We have adopted a modern framework for formulating and implementing the monetary policy, and steadily maintained an accommodative stance.' -Governor Sejko said.

In this regard, the Albanian economy has made notable progress towards steady and long-term growth, being characterised by gradual acceleration of the pace of growth, expansion of employment and decline in unemployment, as well as improvement of private sector balance sheets. In particular, the banking sector appears liquid, well capitalised, with good profitability indicators.

The Governor underscored that the Albanian economy has solid premises for continuing and even accelerating the pace of growth. Strengthened financial stability, coupled with prudent monetary policies, offers additional guarantees for its sustainability.

At the end of his address, Governor Sejko pointed out that our economy should be continuously attentive to technology innovation and promotion of financial products in various segments of society, the development of new financial market segments, such as capital markets and pension and investment funds. It also needs to enhance financial literacy, across the board that would help both individuals and firms establish sounder financial situations and reduce financial risks.

Governor Sejko thanked the participants and added that the panellists' conclusions will be very useful to identify far-reaching approaches that are best fitted to meet the challenges ahead. The successful realisation of these challenges -highlighted the Governor- will enable our economy to grow at a fast and steady pace, and will mark a step forward in our journey towards EU integration.

The first session of the conference addresses the continuously changing context the banking industry faces, due to the restructuring, technological change, evolving regulatory environment and the monetary policy context.

During the second session, the discussion investigates how banks in the SEE and in particular in Albania deal with the new challenges that arise both from regulators and non-bank financial entities. Also, the new challenges that these trends pose for authorities not only in terms of regulation and supervision but also in terms of policy implementation, will be discussed in this session.

The third session is a discussion panel of central bankers and international experts, namely: the Governor of the Bank of Albania, Mr Gent Sejko; the Vice Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mrs. Želimira Raspudić; the Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Ukraine, Mr Dmytro Sologub; the Former Governor of the Bank of Estonia, Mr Ardo Hanssson, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Argentina, LSE and IBD, Mr Mario Blejer, the Director, LSE- Institute of Global Affairs, Mr Erik Berglof, chaired by Ms Piroska Nagy-Mohacsi, Programme Director, LSE Institute of Global Affairs.

This panel will address key issues in the future of banking and financial services. The discussion will focus on policy and regulatory choices and incentives to boost financial intermediation in Albania, the SEE region and beyond.