Albanian Shoes Corporation, a new factory due to start up in November with an initial production of 15,000 pairs per day, will employ a workforce of 1,000 and will be the first facility in the country to produce and export footwear bearing the “made in Albania” label. The turnover for the first year is budgeted at €40 million, with 90 percent of production going to the USA and the remaining 10 percent to the countries of the European Union. At a later stage the plant will produce for the home market and the Balkan countries as well.

The investment, which carries an initial cost of €6 million, will be the third one made in Albania by Donianna, a joint venture set up in 1996 by Nuova Adelchi and an Albanian partner company run by Donika Mici. The majority stake in Albanian Shoes Corporation, located off the highway that links Tirana to Durazzo, will be held by the Albanian company.

Nuova Adelchi, which located in the Italian province of Lecce across the Adriatic Sea, produces and exports footwear all over the world. Adelchi Sergio (Adelchi is the first name), CEO, began outsourcing part of the firm’s production at the beginning of the 1990s to Albania, Bulgaria and Romania. Hides, uppers, adhesives, thread, linings and other components were all exported to contract manufacturers in these countries and the finished product re-imported into Italy. Then, in 1996, Adelchi set up Donianna. The joint venture now runs two plants – Rozimpeks, which produces uppers, with a turnover of €800,000, and Donianna, which went into operation in 2002. The latter has three production lines, each of which can produce a total of 1,000 pairs of footwear in 8-hour runs. Last year the joint venture generated sales €4 million, a figure that is expected to double in 2005.