13 July 2010

Macedonia revamps Blace Border Crossing

Blace border crossing will be modernized in line with European standards. A new facility will be built for customs administration, police and phytosanitary and veterinary inspection. A building for control of buses and passengers will be constructed as well, while traffic lanes will be expanded.
This was stated Sunday by Vice Premier and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski marking the start of construction works for a section for light vehicles, buses and passengers at Blace border crossing.
He informed that the new border crossing was expected to bolster permeability at the border towards Kosovo two to threefold compared to the current situation, as well as the security and safety of passengers.
- The modern border crossing has many benefits, not only improved traffic and alleviated cross-border trade, but also Macedonian products will have a better access on European markets and better competitiveness, said Stavreski adding the project wouldn't have been realised without the funds allocated by the World Bank.
Kosovo is one of Macedonia's top ten trade partners with $324 million trade exchange accomplished last year. - In trade exchange, Macedonia has the biggest surplus with Kosovo. Hence, the importance of this project is even greater, because it will enable the trade exchange to be intensified by facilitating the flow of goods and services, said Stavreski.
Minister of Economy Fatmir Besimi said the project would significantly increase the economic and trade cooperation between Macedonia and Kosovo.
- Kosovo is an important trade and economic partner. The mutual cooperation needs to be expanded i.e. the communication between the countries to be alleviated, he stated.
Bekim Imeri, World Bank representative in Macedonia, said the modernization activities were part of the Trade and Transport Facilitation in Southeast Europe Project, financed by the World Bank.
The Euro 1.7 million project envisages the number of traffic lanes to be increased (four for entering and three for exiting) and a construction of modern facilities for conducting the necessary border and customs formalities. Construction works, which will be conducted by Granit company, are expected to be completed in 14 months. [ Macedonia borders ]

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