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Gjergj Teneqexhiu

Embassy of Albania

Date of birth: June 30, 1959

Hometown: Tirana

Number of years in Japan (cumulative): 2 (as of November 2018)

Gjergj Teneqexhiu
Q1: What was your first encounter with Japan?

As a child I used to listen to Italian radio, where I first became familiar with what was happening outside my country. Everything I learned came through a Japanese transistor radio that my father bought me.
The interest in Japan increased in high school, when I learned more about World War II and the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Among Albanians of my generation, Japan was very well known, especially for Kurosawa movies, haiku, robot anime, Japanese writers, novels, etc. I still have some Japanese novels from my younger days at home.

Q2: Please state your motto in life and why you have chosen it.

On Sept. 24, 1988, Bobby McFerrin wrote “Don’t Worry Be Happy,” one of the most beloved anthems of all time. I embraced this as my life motto. Doing things with responsibility, enthusiasm and faith will lead you to the right path.
You may lose the battle, but patience and courage will help win the war. Success is just behind the door … life is all about finding the right key.

Q3 : Over your career, what achievement are you the proudest of?

I’ve worked for the Ministry of Finance since 1991, when Albania moved toward a market economy. I was lucky to join a small group of people who undertook important reforms toward this goal. As state budget director and secretary general of the ministry, I headed reforms in managing public expenditures that followed the enactment of some important laws, and successfully negotiated agreements with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and European Commission.

Q4 : What are your goals during your time in Japan, your current position or in life?

Albania is becoming a tourist destination, with 3,500 Japanese visiting last year. I hope to double that. Our countries have a very good political and diplomatic relationship. Last year Japan opened an embassy in Tirana. The Albanian and Japanese foreign ministers met two times this year, and I have to say that the willingness of cooperation is very consistent. My main goal is to promote Albania to Japanese people and investors.

Q5 : What wisdom, advice or tips can you give to people living and working in Japan?

Learn the Japanese language, be actively present in activities and everyday life. By doing that, you will be a part of a wonderful community that is ready to accept and will welcome you with open arms.

Last updated: Nov 19, 2018