The regional profile of the Western Balkan Competitiveness Outlook (CO) 2024

The regional profile of the Western Balkan Competitiveness Outlook (CO) 2024 is out and it presents the assessment results of five policy clusters that are critical for economic growth, sustaining a competitive economy and achieving convergence with the European Union (EU).
The CO 2024 comprises 15 policy dimensions that are assessed using nearly 400 combined qualitative and quantitative indicators. These indicators detail whether policies achieve the desired results and the extent to which they help the Western Balkans achieve socio-economic convergence with the EU and the OECD area. 15 dimensions, all of which are key for economic competitiveness, are grouped into the most relevant of the five clusters, allowing for a more comprehensive overview of regional progress in pursuing economic reforms. Some policy dimensions are relevant to multiple clusters and are therefore included more than once. Drawing from cluster analysis results, the regional profile provides a comprehensive overview of regional trends to identify notable policy advancements, challenges and areas for improvement in economic development, with a particular focus on convergence with the EU. It highlights variations between economies within specific policy clusters, noting where some are excelling and where others require further development. Each cluster then offers dedicated policy recommendations on further strengthening economic growth, paying special attention to enhanced regional collaboration and integration.
Based on the report Albania is one of the best-performing economies in the Western Balkans for investment policy and promotion, scoring above the regional average for its investment policy framework. Albania has registered an improvement in its performance in investment policy and promotion. The economy’s score has increased from 3.1 in the previous Competitiveness Outlook (compared to 2.6 in 2018) to 3.6 in the 2024 assessment.
The assessment and monitoring of the policy developments took place between 1 March 2021 and 1 March 2024. Any policy changes and new developments after 1 March 2024 have not been considered in the assessment. The methodology of the individual assessment of the policy areas for the economies is further explained in the reader’s guide for each economy profile. More information on the methodology of the assessment can also be found at the Western Balkans Competitiveness Data Hub.