Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Damir Fazlic: Energy and Albania

In a recent trip to Albania, Damir Fazlic made note of several changes while en route from the airport to Tirana; the capital of the Republic of Albania. His initial reaction was that positive change had taken place. He was excited about the changes because, for years, Damir had been an advocate of change. He equates his hope for change in Albania to the powerful campaign slogan that Barack Obama used to win the election for President of the Unites States of America. That is, "Change. Yes we Can!". Fazlic often vocalized this sentiment to the people and politicians of Albania, encouraging them that change was necessary and possible. The reasoning was two fold. The first reason that change was necessary was to allow Albania to develop and prosper on their own. The second reason change was necessary was because the image of Albania in the public eye and in the eyes of foreign countries had been suffering for years. No foreign investors would be interested in spending their dollars there if Albania had not made some progress on their own to change and help themselves.

His efforts to change the face of Albania, date back to 2002, when his initial plans to invest in Albanian projects first started. However, under the government at that time, Fazlic decided that his investment projects would not be successful. He was sure that the old government was simply not forward-thinking enough to allow room for his ideas and projects to fit in to an Albanian agenda. As the new Prime Minister took office in 2005, Fazlic revisited his investment ideas and found new hope for success with them. The change in government was exactly the change he had been hoping for in Albania. The new Prime Minister, Berisha, was forward-thinking enough to consider bold plans for growth and plans that would take Albania in a new direction.

Fazlic believes the new government is willing to change in more ways that one. These changes include the face of politics, the method that decisions are made, the goals of the people making the decisions, the amount of participation that the citizens of Albania have in political matters, the types of projects Albania pursues, and the people and foreign countries that Albania partners with to take on new projects.

With all that has taken place in Albania in the last couple years, Fazlic has become much more involved with the politicians there, helping out wherever he can. He is both excited for the opportunity available in Albania, as well as the future that is likely to be born for them as a result of the political decisions that are made and the projects that are taken on now.

Fazlic wanted this change in government not just because he figured there would be new opportunities for investment, but because he believed Albania could finally find a way to prosper and provide a better quality of life for its' citizens. After all, he does have friends there and when he visits, he is excited when he sees positive change taking place because he knows his friends are proving a better way of life for themselves as well as the generations of their children and grandchildren.

At the time the new Prime Minister was elected, Fazlic decided he would be on board to help. He started by taking a look at one of the most important aspects of developed nations. Energy. If Albania could find a reliable and an abundant source of energy to meet the demands that a developing/developed nation requires, then growth would be inevitable. The question would be whether Albania would find a way to produce their own energy source, or work out a deal to import energy from a foreign neighbor.

Regardless of the what path they take, Fazlic believed that Albania could earn some respect from it's larger and more developed neighbors if they were to obtain a steady supply of energy and initiate some large scale development projects. Foreign investors would then be attracted to Albania and more projects would be funded to help Albania continue to prosper. Fazlic has taken a look into these ideas and has taken initial steps towards investing in real estate that is suitable for a large scale energy project. If this land can be developed, then energy dreams for Albania may become a reality.

Part of his investment plans would include funding to support actual physical work to develop this land and prepare it for a potential energy project. He knows every project needs an initial capital investment. So, there is risk up front. However, he is confident that this type of investment can be successful and, in the end, prove to be a monumental addition to Albanian assets.

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