A regional level project aims to increase trade cooperation and improve the parameters of road freight transport in the Western Balkans.
Shawn Weiming Tan, leader of the implementation team, gave an interview for Deutsche Welle analyzing the project.
The project, from the total value of 90 million dollars, will include the six countries of the Western Balkans.
"This project is part of the "connectivity" within the Berlin process. It aims to reduce trade costs by establishing a single national branch at border points, which should improve transparency and integrity, as well as coordination between commercial agencies and reduce transport times at customs points.
Furthermore, its implementation will increase transport efficiency by installing an intelligent system that will make transport safer and more efficient. "- initially stated Weiming Tan.
On the total value of the project and the deadlines:
"The implementation of the project will have a total cost of 90 million dollars. The World Bank has already approved the project loan. The implementation of the latter will start at different times in each country of the Western Balkans, from October 2019 to February 2020.”
On the situation of road freight transport in the Western Balkans:
"Trade in the Western Balkans is not hampered by customs duties. The countries of this region are part of the Central European Free Trade Agreement, known as CEFTA, thanks to which duties on industrial products have been removed and those on agricultural products significantly reduced.
In addition, many countries in the Western Balkans have signed stabilization and association agreements with the European Union, allowing them entry and free access to the markets of EU member countries. "
On specific border points that will be improved by the implementation of the project:
"The border points between Albania and Northern Macedonia, and those between Northern Macedonia and Bulgaria will be improved. Furthermore, the introduction of a single national window will improve coordination between customs and border agencies, helping to reduce waiting times for border crossings."