Announcements and Updates

AATDA Advisory Board Member Edna Boorady Passes;  She “Turned Off The Lights” at U.S. Embassy with Hoxha Regime

AATDA morns the passing of its distinguished board member, Edna A. "Betty" Boorady, 87, of Dunkirk, NY, who died Wednesday morning (Nov. 5, 2008).  She was born on March 13, 1921 in Dunkirk, the daughter of the late Albert and Tamam (Mosey) Boorady.

Miss Boorady left for Washington, DC, in 1941. She was the first woman to direct an overseas mission in the history of the U.S. foreign aid program, and later served as the director of the Agency for International Development's Office of Personnel and Management.

She began her federal career in the Office of Price Administration and in 1944, became assistant and principal aide to the chief of mission to the UN Rehabilitation and Relief Administration's mission in Albania.

The US Government broke relations with Albania shortly after Enver Hoxha assumed leadership. Edna, being a US citizen but working for the UN, was literally given the keys to our US Embassy to use the facility if her and the other Americans needed it or to close it.  Shortly after the US embassy staff departed, the UN also evacuated leaving Edna the last US citizen to “turn off the lights” at the US Embassy in Tirana click here for more.


IMF Executive Board Review Concludes Albania’s Economic Performance Remains Strong

On July 28, 2008, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced that it had completed the fifth review of Albania's economic performance and financing assurances under the three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement.  

In making the announcement, Mr. Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated: 

"Albanian economic performance remains strong, despite less benign external conditions. A regional drought in 2007 affected Albania particularly hard, but recovery was rapid as the economy diversified and new export markets were developed. Growth therefore remained buoyant and became broader based, reaching 6 percent last year. Inflation, while episodically above the 31 percent target range, remains among the lowest in the region in spite of global food and commodity price shocks.  click here for full text




As a gesture of appreciation for AATDA's work in support of Albania, Petraq Gramo, President of the AATDA affiliate in Tirana, presented a $1,000 donation to Lou Elias in April, during a visit to Florida. 

The donation was presented on behalf of the members of the AATDA AL board of directors, in appreciation for our many years of cooperation between the two organizations in support of business development and cooperation between our two countries.


World Bank Announces Funding of Albania Secondary Roads Project 

On June 3, 2008, The World Bank Board of Directors approved a US$20 million credit for the Secondary and Local Roads Project in Albania to improve access to essential services and economic markets, especially in rural areas, by improving the condition, management, and financing of regional and local roads in the country. The project will also support the introduction of the private sector in road maintenance on the road network. Through this project, the Bank will also act as a catalyst for mobilizing other donor financing in this sector. 

“A recent survey noted that after employment and income, the majority of rural respondents considered poor road access as the biggest problem they faced, making it difficult to reach markets, providing no incentive to increase agricultural production, and inhibiting the delivery of health and education services,” said Martin Humphreys, Task Team Leader click here for full text


Albanian Claims Program Announcement

The U.S. Department of Justice, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission contacted AATDA to assist in publicizing a new opportunity for U.S. citizens to file a claim for compensation in the Albanian Claims Program.  The program, which began in 1995, has recently changed. Residency in the U.S. prior to 1995 is no longer required.  If a claim was denied in the past for this reason, individuals can now file a claim for property losses.  The program still has in excess of $1 million to distribute. 

The program compensates U.S. nationals who suffered property losses at the hands of the Communist government that took power after WW II.  If you wish to pursue a claim, contact the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission at 202-616-6975 or email at  You can also visit their web site at


AATDA Creates New Foundation for Albanian Support

The Board of Directors of AATDA has created a new mechanism, The Albanian American Trade & Development Foundation (AATDF), which is designed to support AATDA activities that aim to assist Albania in its social, cultural and economic development, as well as help fund our efforts to assist the people of Albania. "Our organization has evolved substantially since its early days," said Lou Elias, President of AATDA. "Originally a group with trade development in mind, over the years we have grown to include many non-business activities that relate to Albania's well being."

The new AATDF will support current efforts in Albania focused on developing an improved business environment being carried out by the AATDA in Albania.  These include projects promoting improved corporate governance, the rule of law, and a streamlined business permitting and regulatory regime.  Still, more activities are under development and will be announced through this web site.  Donations are now being accepted.  For further information, please contact us at



AATDA AL Work on Corporate Governance Extended 

The AATDA AL has been actively engaged in activities related to improving corporate governance for the past year. Activities have included a series of roundtables related to policy formation and information sharing; training in corporate governance for selected participants; and a corresponding public awareness program, which has been extended until January 31.

This program seeks to introduce corporate governance as an essential component of reform in Albania. A basic assumption of the effort is that effective corporate management, along with improved transparency, law enforcement, business ethics, and easy access to credit, will improve business investment and political stability. Click here.


AATDA AL Corporate Governance Project Reaches Mid-Point -- Shows Excellent Progress

In November, AATDA launched an important initiative to enhance Albania’s business environment by improving corporate business practices and strengthening the legal and regulatory framework in which Albania’s private sector exists. Well underway at the midpoint of the one-year project, AATDA has held meetings with key corporate governance stakeholders and business organizations throughout Albania to introduce the project and its concept, and has conducted a national survey (February-March) of 120 companies and stakeholder groups that is being used to assess the current state of corporate governance in Albania Click here for more



James Elias Takes Over Executive Directorship of AATDA details...

AATDA Albania Wins Grant for Corporate Governance Project details...

AATDA Continues Support for Corridor VIII Local Economic Development Initiative - Joins Board of New Regional Association details...

List of AATDA Activities details

Capital Cities Declaration On Transportation Corridor VIII Development Project details...

Conference On Local Economic Development Along The Corridor VIII - Resolution details...



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Currency Rates as of:
December 9, 2008
Albania: $1 = 78.075 Lek (ALL)
Bosnia: $1.00 = 1.2508 Marka (BAM)
Bulgaria: $1.00 = 1.2436 Lev (BGL)
Croatia: $1.00 = 4,6287 Kuna (HRK)
Euro: $1.00 = 0.6387 Euros (EUR)
FYROM: $1 = 39.35 Denar (MKD)
Romania $1.00 = 23258.99 Leu (ROL)
Serbia & Mont. $1.00 = 52,135 Dinar (YUM)
Slovenia: $1.00 = 153.056 Tolar (SIT)

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