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Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
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    The docks in the port city of Durrës
    Courtesy Charles Sudetic

    Enver Hoxha's regime had maintained a legal stranglehold on the country's foreign commerce since World War II through state-run trading enterprises. For decades Albania had maintained no representative commercial offices in Western countries, and so deep was the Albanian dictator's animus toward the Soviet Union that the two countries carried on no trade at all for decades after their split in the early 1960s. Hoxha and his protégés created a formidable barrier to economic relations with the West in 1976 by incorporating into the country's constitution an amendment banning borrowing from capitalist countries. Trade with the West increased after Hoxha's death in 1985, but it was not until the end of the decade that Albania's government surrendered its monopoly on foreign trade. Lawlessness and graft soon made a mockery of almost all legal controls on foreign transactions. In mid-1991 the government was working to set up a free-market-based foreign trade system. After more than a decade of "self-reliance," during which balanced trade had been an essential element of Hoxha's economic doctrine, the country's economic collapse forced its foreign-trade balance and balance of payments deeply into the red. Albanians had to rely on outside aid just to feed themselves.

    Data as of April 1992

    NOTE: The information regarding Albania on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Albania FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Albania FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

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Revised 10-Nov-04
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