Ambassador Canaj's interview for The Times of Israel

Ambassador Canaj gave an interview for The Times of Israel where he praised the excellent relations between two countries in every aspect, being it in diplomatic level and economic and academic exchanges. Interviewed by Larry Luxner, an experienced editor who has reported from more than 100 countries in Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia for a variety of news outlets, Ambassador Canaj outlined Albanian-Israeli strong ties, economic exchanges between our countries and was focused in the diplomatic excellent which recently culminated among other things, with the visit of AJC’s chief executive, David Harris, who led a diplomatic mission to Albania that included meetings with President Ilir Meta, Prime Minister Edi Rama and other dignitaries.
All this high-level activity should come as no surprise, said Bardhyl Canaj.
“The more I know Israel, the more I love it here!” said Canaj.
He underlined the fact that is well-known Albania’s fame during World War II as a haven for persecuted Jews. It’s no secret that mountainous Albania, which is slightly larger than Israel, was the only Nazi-occupied country in Europe that found itself with more Jews after than war than before.
Later he focused in his remarks in the Tourism aspect considering it: The ‘big prize’
Canaj affirmed that there are 54 Israeli companies currently operating in Albania, including drip-irrigation leader Netafim as well as Haifa Chemicals Ltd., Hazera Seeds Ltd. and Top Greenhouses. In addition, Israeli IT and telecom firms run three call centers in the Balkan country, which is home to about 3 million people. All Tuborg beer sold in Albania is produced by an Israeli company, while Haifa-based Zim ranks as the country’s second-largest shipping firm.
In all, Israeli companies have invested about $40 million in Albania, while bilateral trade comes to roughly $85 million a year. Likewise, some Albanian companies have begun exporting their products to Israel, including cheese, intimate ladies’ wear and wooden frames.
But the “big prize” for Albania, he said is Tourism and the direct flight line Tirana-Tel-Aviv operating through IsrAir company, is showing increasing numbers up to 20 000 f Israeli tourists visiting Albania per year.
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