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Opinion / Editorial

Sazani, the Singapore of the Mediterranean?

Sazani, the Singapore of the Mediterranean?

The Investment Promotion Agency (AIDA) has recently received an application from the American company "Affinity Partners", owned by real estate investor Jared Kushner, son-in-law of former US President Donald Trump, for a tourist development project on the island. of Sazan, the only island of Albania. Kushner is a son in the art of real estate investment, as his father was among the important investors in New York. Kushner's investment will be managed, after construction, through the well-known international brand Aman, a brand of high-end tourist resorts in Asia and which in the Western Balkans is only found on the Montenegrin island of St. Stefan and in Greece. Affinity Partners, based in Miami, USA, with assets worth $3.1 billion, plans to transform Sazan Island into a high-end tourist community in the form of an eco-resort, while preserving its intact the natural landscape of the island with an area of ??6.7 square kilometers. Sazani can also be turned into a cruise port in its part that can be seen from the Karaburun Peninsula, since the depth there is 150 meters, while the cruises, these mobile cities that also hold 2 thousand tourists of the third age, who want to spend, do not they can anchor in Vlora, Saranda or Durrës, due to the insufficient depth of these ports. According to information from the well-known international economic television network Bloomberg and from the American newspaper "The New York Times", the company "Affinity Partners" is also looking to develop the Zvrnec Peninsula, a coastal region with more than three miles of virgin sandy beaches. white and deep, building 10 thousand villas and hotel rooms. Together with a third project for the construction of a tourist hotel in the capital of Serbia, in Belgrade, the company "Affinity Partners" is planning to invest 1 billion dollars, with the two projects in Albania and the project in Serbia. The investment plan is presented at a time when tourism has become the number one industry in the country, surpassing construction. According to the Bank of Albania, after the publication on March 25, 2024 of the country's current account balance data (money leaving and money entering the country), tourism has contributed to the national production with 4.2 billion euros, surpassing it by 200 million euros of income from exports of goods for the year 2023. From this point of view, any investment, and especially of this nature, which brings some dormant assets into economic circulation, is to be welcomed. With the awakening of Sazan, an estate in lethargic sleep since the overthrow of communism, we must not forget the virgin mini-beaches of Karaburun. The government should think of a development plan for the part of Sazan that will not be used by Kushner's project, for Karaburun and 180 km of still undeveloped coast, which could add several times the "palms" of the stolen sea surface in Dubai.He should think about "awakening" Karpeni, Darëzeza and Pishë Poron, Kepi e Rodoni up to Rana e Xanu in Shengjin. Meanwhile, Sazani could be transformed into the Singapore of the Mediterranean, with plans to develop all the square kilometers that Kushner's project will not take into free economic zones and zero-tax company headquarters. The development of the tourism project of an eco-resort on the island of Sazan, if it will be realized, there is no question that it constitutes a project of exceptional importance for tourism and for our national economy. Since we are talking about an investor among the most serious in this field, either from the investment fund, from where the money is provided, or from the firm that will deal with the management of this project, as it has been presented to date, both of these factors guarantee a significant increase in the seriousness of our tourism industry. This development will transform Albanian tourism into a worthy competitor in relation to the countries of the region. After the 2 billion euro project of "Durra Yachts and Marina", of the billionaire Mohamed Alabbar from the United Arab Emirates, which is progressing in today's port. merchant of Durrës, which will be relocated, the two projects of the company "Affinity Partners" constitute the second important news for a strategic foreign investment in our tourism. Such projects should be welcomed by all of us, as they are for our public good. Our government structures must provide all necessary support, so that this project is put into operation and Sazani "wakes up" as soon as possible.Our government structures must provide all necessary support, so that this project is put into operation and Sazani "wakes up" as soon as possible.Our government structures must provide all necessary support, so that this project is put into operation and Sazani "wakes up" as soon as possible.