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Investing In the Balkans Has Its Perils

Low-cost terms in mining and energy are enticing investors to the region, but dodgy politics and infrastructure may mean risk

Here's an idea of just how desperate the Western Balkans are for investment: If you have a solid business plan and the moxie to match, a mine in Albania can be yours for one euro per year.

Introduced in 2006 to offer foreign businesses excellent terms on investments in strategic sectors like mining and energy, the "Albania One Euro" program is an example of how the Western Balkans are trying to woo investment. Serbia's Free Zone Law, which eliminates the value-added tax on income from business activity in four areas of the country, is another.