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Ekonomia

The government is set in motion after the chaos that has gripped the business, approves the sovereign guarantee of 4 billion lek for this sector, the union reacts and shows the recipe for how to get out of the crisis

The government is set in motion after the chaos that has gripped the business,

The crisis that engulfed the textile and footwear sector has put companies in difficult conditions, some have closed their activities and others have reduced the number of employees. The first effects of the crisis started in 2020 after the isolation from COVID-19, where companies were forced to change the production chain, and focus on medical materials. But the decline in the profits of this sector peaked last year and continued to deepen in January of this year. Referring to the data of the Institute of Statistics, the textile and footwear sector has sold goods worth 126.308 billion lek (1.2 billion euro), with a decrease of about 8.9 billion lek (87.5 million euro) compared to 2022. the figures were also added to the losses of the month of January, where exports of textiles and shoes fell by 2.1 billion lek (20.7 million euros) compared to January 2023. So, in total, the bill of losses without counting the number of closed companies and employees removed amounts to nearly 110 million euros. According to the association, "ProEksport Albania", the main reason is the devaluation of the euro, which fell by 10% last year, while it continues to remain at the level of 103 lek per euro this year as well. If at the end of 2022 one euro cost up to 116 allek, it is currently at the value of 103.7 allek, but in the summer it went down to 100 allek. This sharp decline devalues ??the exporters' profits, since they sell the same goods and receive less money. But on the other hand, the new contracts they have for work are also decreasing, according to the companies, this is due to increased costs and the increase in the cost of labor in the country. Based on INSTAT reports, imports of textiles and shoes decreased by 7.5 billion ALL, while in the first month of this year they suffered a decrease of 586 million ALL compared to January 2023.

The government came into play

But to support the sector and get it out of the crisis, the government has promised you some support measures, one of which is the sovereign guarantee, which was approved yesterday at the government meeting in the amount of 4 billion ALL. The Minister of Finance, Ervin Mete explained to the media yesterday that with this review, it has become possible to make available the fund of 4 billion lek for the sovereign guarantee that will benefit the manufacturing sector. "Through this normative act, we are also supporting a State Guarantee Instrument of 4 billion lek in support of businesses in the fashion processing industry sector, which need to improve technological processes and further increase productivity, this also to cope with the effects of strikes in this sector. This instrument aims to support businesses through the state loan guarantee, with the aim of securing the necessary financing from second-level banks", declared Mete. While the conditions of what will be the interest rate for the loan that businesses will receive, or what percentage the state will guarantee for this scheme, will be determined by VKM, another.

The union reacts

But while the conditions and criteria of this guarantee or the interest rate have not yet been specified, ProExport Albania says to Report TV that in order for the sector to benefit, the interest rate must be no higher than 1.5%, and the state must to be a guarantor for 80% of the loan. So the collateral that should be made available to the state banks in order to grant loans to the exporters of this sector should be 80%, while 20% should be covered by the private sector. They also request that the requirements of the banks or the risk analysis they do to approve the loan be eased, since their financial balances are weak due to the shocks they have suffered. The government has also promised the approval of a facilitating mechanism, in the form of an overdraft, to have the necessary liquidity available so that companies can start production according to the contracts they have. A funding scheme will be set up for a professional academy for manufacturing and related training in the company as well as quick VAT reimbursement.