Republic of Albania

Capital: Tirana                HDI: 0.733 (85th)

Language: Albanian

GDP (PPP): $12.204 billion

Currency: Lek

Population:2,886,026

The Republic of Albania is a country in Southeast Europe, bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east, and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea to the west and on the Ionian Sea to the southwest. It is less than 72 km (45 mi) from Italy, across the Strait of Otranto which connects the Adriatic Sea to the Ionian Sea.

Albania is a parliamentary republic. The country’s capital, Tirana, is its financial and industrial heartland, with a population of almost 800,000 out of around 2.9 million Albanians. Free-market reforms have opened the country to foreign investment, especially in the development of energy and transportation infrastructure. Albania has a high HDI and provides a universal health care system and free primary and secondary education. Albania is an upper-middle income economy with the service sector dominating the country’s economy, followed by the industrial sector and agriculture. It is one of the founding members of the Energy Community, Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Union for the Mediterranean. It is also an official candidate for membership in the European Union.

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