The contribution of emigration to the Albanian economy has been increased this year. According to the Bank of Albania, the value of remittances for the second quarter amounted to Euro 186 million, up by four million Euros compared to a year earlier. For the first half of the year, the value of remittances sent to Albania was 336 million Euros, five million more than in the first half of 2018. The return of remittance growth appears to be related to the new wave of emigration launched after visa liberalization with EU countries.
The immigrants of the 1990s settled abroad and have gradually faded their relationships with Albania; while the new immigrants have created new bridges that, among other things, have led to increased remittance flows.
According to a Bank of Albania study, in collaboration with the World Bank, the remittances are a source of income for about 26% of Albanian families. They contribute to education, health, investment, but especially to poverty reduction. Foreign remittances account for 90% of the income of recipient families, which indicates that about a quarter of families in Albania depend almost exclusively on them.
In fact, the contribution of remittances to the economy is even greater than one might think. If we include seasonal income or that from the remote jobs of Albanian citizens for foreign companies, last year, the Albanian economy received remittances at a record 1.25 billion Euros. These data show that remittances constitute the largest inflow into the Albanian economy, leaving behind foreign direct investment.