Industry

Industry

Albania's rigid Stalinists considered heavy industry the force driving all developed economies. For years, the government fed the lion's share of investment money and technology imports to industrial behemoths, which had domestic monopolies and too often lacked distinct objectives. Especially from the 1960s onward, the government spent most investment funds on the production of minerals for export and the manufacture of importsubstitution products. The effort succeeded in expanding and diversifying Albania's industrial sector, but without the discipline imposed by a free market; the resulting creation was inefficient and structurally distorted (see Table 8; table 9, Appendix). In the early 1990s, industry accounted for about 40 percent of Albania's GDP and employed about 25 percent of the nation's work force. The industrial sector's most important branches were food products, energy and petroleum production, mining, light industry, and engineering. All of Albania's industrial branches suffered from obsolete equipment, inadequate infrastructure, and low levels of worker skill and motivation. Shortages of energy, spare parts, and raw materials stopped industrial production almost entirely in the early 1990s.


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