Genti Beqiri, AIDA

The AIDA Albanian Investment and Development Agency in Tirana is one of the first institutions you shall enter as an investor to be orientated and supported. Funny thing beside: You have to pay for this “support”, also if it is a governmental institution to search and fix investments for Albania. Anyway, we had a very nice meeting with the new leader of AIDA, Mr Genti Beqiri – into the result Angels Association Global and their partners stopped more or less ten possible projects and definitely the cooperation with AIDA.

But, let’s have a look of this email, sent from the CEO of AAG to Mr Genti Beqiri (AIDA), September 29th, 2015 with copies to the Ministry of Economic and the Office of the Prime Minister. More you will understand, why a lot of potential investors leaving Albania. By the way we never received any answers for this email, neither from AIDA, nor from any ministry – everybody knows the real situation in Albania, only the potential investors from abroad has to learn it:

Dear Mr Beqiri,
nice to receive your email. I understand the background for that. I will not spend my time to start a big discussion after we decided to stop several projects into your country.

But you have to know and you will know it, if you will have 35 years of international expriences to develop projects in several countries like me, that money is shy as a deer – if you navigate interested development companies, investors, co-investors and albanian friendly company leader in the wrong corner for politically or personally motivated reasons, it will be difficult to have their support, knowledge, money and technology transfer.

[ … ]

Point 1 of your mail, Hydro Power Plants (5 projects)
We received a list of licencees from the Ministry of Energy. Three of the names were valid, the others not to find. We did not do any request for new licences to the Ministry and we did not write the contrary. But we started to negotiate with private companies to take over licences and share capital from them, without subsidies or any help from public side. At the end we will reach the goal in any case and its okay, its the normal way independent companies are going.

 

Point 2 of your mail, Geothermal Power Plants (3 projects)
Several times we requested informations from different ministries, because the responsibility changes few times. Why we did not write an Unsolicited Proposal you asked?? Because nobody gave us answers about our questions for the responsible persons to speak, nobody gave us answers regarding the springs and technical requests. Thats why you can write into your mail, that there is no official expression, dear Mr Beqiri. How shall we do that, when nobody give us the main informations we required several times?

 

Point 3 of your mail, Albanian Thermes (3 projects)
Also here your informations are wrong. Will be a good idea to read the correspondence for that case. Beside all mails we counted exactly all the trials to receive informations for ten months – without any real answer! In contrary, since two months in additional we are waiting of a reply from Mr Dervishi, Ministry of Agriculture. Sorry, we are not waiting. We stopped waiting.

 

Point 4 of your mail, Minerva Farming
Sorry, but your answer took my breath away for seconds. Do you really don’t know

  • what happened all the months?
  • that we received a list of possible state owned plots in February 2015 from the Ministry of Agriculture?
  • that we gave it with some less plots back to AIDA and the Ministry of Agriculture in March 2015?
  • that we asked for the confirmation to be able to apply for the rental of that state owned land also in March?
  • anything about the meeting with Minister Panariti, Anna Sakiqi in context with the delays of Ministry employees?
  • that Minister Panariti himself said me, that we will go ahead with that project on base of that list?
  • that since that time we asked, and asked, and asked and applied several times for answers?

It must be, that you did not have the real informations, otherwise I cannot comprehend your answer so far away from the real situation.

 

Point 5 of your mail, Sewage Treatment Plants (3 projects)
Your result of your own words is wrong. If your result is that we left “the project” in face of concrete opportunities, it seems that you did not read our mails, in particular not our last mail. Yes, we left “the project”, but because our official proposal was ignored and the options you offered us, have worst conditions. Of course, we left them. What are you thinking how a decision has to be done?

 

Point 6 of your mail, TEDA
It’s not personal meant, but your mail to us from today confirmed, that our decision was right.

 

Point 7 of your mail, Landfills
Your answer based on old informations. See our last correspondence with the Ministry of Urban Development, in particular the mails from yesterday.

 

Point 8 of your mail, New landfill Fier
Your answer based on old informations. See our last correspondence with the Ministry of Urban Development, in particular the mails from yesterday.

 

Point 9 of your mail, LAAP
It is not our fault, if you have not all informations. And: Is there a special reason, that you did not wrote about the second main point in context with the EU-subsidies, which has to be paid back in case that there shall be a take-over of the laboratories? But it does not matter, you also ignored that we did not receive an answer of our last mail two months ago….

 

At last a personal comment, dear Mr Beqiri:

Last year we started together with a consortium of more or less 20 german companies euphoric to develop projects in Albania and were really glad about the support from the Ministry of Economics and the Prime Ministers Office. While the first months we always had a very good support from them, and if there were problems to solve or circumstances to clear, they were fast, direct and very helpful. In that time we praised the development of the albanian country in every conversation we had with business partners and fought for a better picture of your country.

On the other hand we noticed more and more problems inside the ministries and authorities. But we gone ahead to try to do business in Albania. The circumstances are difficult, but this is also a chance to have more success than in other countries. Because of our experiences in other countries we started early to find partnerships in the private economy of Albania. Thanks God. Than unfortunately it happened, that the problems wasted more and more our time. We had to make a balance sheet and decided to stop a lot of our projects and to find other solutions or other countries for that. A normal progress to cut infrastructual or ministry dependent projects and to join private joint ventures independently from political influences. In particular in countries with few years of experiences of social or free market economy.

But, and this you have to know: it depends only on the first good experiences with the Minister of Economics, his advisors and the Prime Ministers Office, that we did not say Good Bye to Albania, but going ahead to do business in your country, believing on the people and the opportunities of your wonderful country. Of course we left those projects which are dependent from the decisions of the ministries. We are towards our shareholders, co-investors and partners responsible – any other decision after one year trial could not be done. Its better to cut an arm, than to loose the body.

 

And at least a result:
Today I got the impression, that we should be the guilty party for the delays and the reason for ourself to decide to leave those projects. Thats not a good basic for a partnership, isn’t it?

So this evening our board of directors decided to stop all proposed albanian projects with the exception of those projects, which are independent from ministry decisions and authority cooperations, but also with the exception of the project for social housings and waste management.

For these last projects … how you wrote it? Oh yes: “I would like to remind that…” – I would like to remind that for the social housings we are waiting (in a very positive sense) of the next answers from the Municipality of Tirana and the Ministry of Urban Development and that we are waiting (also in a very positive sense) of answers in context with the waste management from the Ministry of Urban Development. This is the base for the next steps.

And than, dear Mr Beqiri, if this base is done like mentioned above we will be able to do a business plan. Than we are able to do that. If you are working in a serious way, you always have a business plan to be able to do the next steps, because a business plan is not to be done to present it authorities or politicians – first of all it is the base of decisions for yourself and the base of decisions for potential partners in each phase of project development. We are teaching this in Germany and Austria since 12 years.

And like I said at the very first meetings to Prime Minister Rama and Minister Ahmetaj, in that moment when we know what the base is we will see if we need strategical, technical and financial partners or not. And of course in that moment we will present business references and if needed more than the videos we gave for both projects several months ago to show such very impressing references. (Did you see these videos before you wrote us? One video presents our mobile maschineries for waste management working in Ghana and the other one the building side of some thousands of flats in Rome).

If you have not the experience it will be difficult to have success. Also that is not new for us. And at least the financial engineering would be done after the first Letter of Intent and before the signing of the contract. What I mean, is: You have not to teach me how to do my business.

Let me finish this mail like I started it: Business has to be done between persons, not between institutions. If the base between persons is not good, the business will not be good. In that sense I renounce of future support from AIDA, if it will not be against some albanian law.

Yours faithfully,
Rolf Neuendorf
CEO

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