Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has been identified as one of the priority areas with innovative potential during the mapping phase conducted within the framework of the Strategy for Smart Specialization (S3). The development of S3 is part of Albania's commitments within the EU accession negotiation process, specifically in Chapter 20 "Enterprises and Industrial Policies" and Chapter 25 "Science and Research." It is also part of the Western Balkans 2021-2024 Action Plan within the Berlin Process and the EU agenda for innovation in the Western Balkans 2021-2027.
In this context, the National S3 Team, under the special care of Deputy Prime Minister Mrs. Belinda Balluku, and with the support of the Union of Albanian Producers and ABSL Albania, organized a national workshop for the BPO sector on May 15, 2023, following the methodology of the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission (JRC).
Approximately fifty representatives from the Quadruple Helix (government, academia, business, civil society) participated in this event, sharing their experiences in the field of BPO and their views on intelligent development in BPO.
The meeting began with welcoming remarks from Mrs. Linda Pustina, Chair of the National S3 Team and Advisor to the Deputy Prime Minister, who emphasized the special attention that the government is dedicating to the S3 Strategy. Mr. Arben Shkodra, an expert from the National S3 Team, explained the methodology that would be followed during the workshop and presented the importance of the EDP process in Albania. Also part of the panel were Mrs. Florensa Haxhi, an expert from the National S3 Team, and Mr. Osvaldo La Rosa, a public policy expert at the National Agency for Cohesion and Territorial Development, Rome, Italy, who is involved in the EDP process in Albania by the JRC of the European Commission.
Participants were divided into several tables, with each table having representatives from all four helixes. In the first part of the workshop, each table conducted a SWOT analysis of the sector, highlighting the strengths and advantages of the BPO sector in Albania, weaknesses and barriers to economic growth based on innovation, opportunities and areas where the sector can expand its activities based on its strengths, and threats and global competition. Then, the tables expressed their vision for the sector, goals, objectives, necessary resources to achieve the vision, and expected outcomes in the long term. Each group also identified the policies needed to implement the suggestions and objectives set. In the second part of the workshop, each facilitator presented the findings of their table.
This workshop was conducted as part of the ongoing roundtable discussions organized in the context of the EDP meetings. The conclusions from this workshop will be analyzed, assessed, and included in the final EDP report, which will serve as a basis for drafting the S3 strategy.