In the five years of its implementation, the SmartCapital project helped 1,000 agribusinesses realize $ 59 million in new investments and created 1,500 new jobs. Mikaela Meredith, USAID Representative in Albania, spoke of the US Government's strong partnership and unwavering support for Albania. She stressed that the successful implementation of "SmartCapital" today leaves a valuable legacy that will continue to support the growth of the agricultural sector.
"Looking to the future, there are other people, businesses and markets that will benefit from the SmartCapital experience and use what you have done as a basis for their work. I have noticed that Creative Business Solutions is trying to open a private equity fund for the entire region. I wish you all luck for this new chapter of work and for future endeavors! "Side by side" is an expression we often use in the United States in the context of partnership. USAID works with you because we see U.S. investment as a catalyst that can be used to mobilize governments, international organizations, foundations, and businesses to assist countries with the planning, funding, and implementation of their development goals. And over the years the SmartCapital project has implemented the same approach. ” said Mrs. Meredith.
Enio Jaço, President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Albania said that bringing the business community in the agricultural sector closer to European standards and strengthening US-Albania trade ties were key priorities of the SmartCapital project.
"Albania is moving towards the European Union and yes builds strong economic ties with the United States. This was the goal of the project 5 years ago, to bring Albanian farmers and agribusinesses closer to European standards. We will continue to work, and this is one of the achievements of this project, with established platforms and services that are sustainable. ” said Mr. Jaço.
During the years of implementation of the project, the USAID partner created two digital platforms to facilitate lending to farmers, which connects farmers with banks and facilitates lending to the agricultural sector, which enables the export of Albanian products to international markets.