Miners galore

Mining, metallurgy, food processing, textiles, lumber, and cement were among the leading industries in Albania under the communist regime, when heavy industry was a priority and some factories were capable of exporting. Until 1961, most equipment was supplied by the Soviet Union and then by China until 1978. After 1989, the sector declined due to the lack of new technology and financing and the dilapidated condition of the factories. In the 1990s, plants and equipment were destroyed and sold for scrap, or fell into disuse, unable to compete with cheaper imports that came with trade liberalization. A revival of chromium, steel, and cement industries came with the increase of foreign investments in 2000. Some new equipment was purchased in the West for a cigarette-making plant in Durres and for a manufacture of underwear in Korce. Construction, especially in housing, was the main factor for investment growth.