Albania Joins World Bank And IMF
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Albania, the poorest country in Europe, today became the 156th member of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Albania’s application for membership was ratified by the Board of Governors of the sister institutions at the opening session of their annual meeting, said Peter Riddleberger, a bank spokesman.
Albania asked to join the two institutions in January, and the government that came to power in June pushed to speed the process, said Deputy Prime Minister Gramoz Pashko, head of his country’s delegation to the conference.
Albania recently ended four decades of orthodox Stalinism.
Before the bank and IMF approved its membership, they required Albania to fully disclose its financial status and begin switching from a centrally planned to a market economy.
Pashko said today that a package of measures to convert the economy has been submitted to parliament ″but we need IMF support for our balance of payments problems and World Bank support for structural problems.″
In 1986, the last year for which figures are available, Albania had a per capita income of $930. Its gross national product was $2.8 billion.
The World Bank provides loans to promote development in poorer countries, while the IMF helps governments in financial straits and promotes global monetary cooperation.