Croatia and Albania Deepening Economic Ties

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 19, 2018 – Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and the visiting Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović held talks on the enhancement of bilateral economic relations, notably on the improvement of transport connectivity, during their meeting in Tirana on Thursday.

“There is huge room for broadening economic relations. A series of Croatian companies are already doing business in Albania and they would like to expand their activities,” Grabar-Kitarović told the press after the talks with Rama. Areas where cooperation can be expanded include the energy sector, construction industry and agriculture, and for that to be achieved, it is necessary to improve transport connections, she added.

“The existing transport connections between Croatia and Albania, which are so close and which are linked by the Adriatic Sea, are in fact connections stemming from the 19th century. Therefore we must work on launching direct lines in both air and ferry transport, and it is good that Jadrolinija (a Croatian shipping operator) has signed a letter of intent on establishing a ferry line between Durres and Rijeka,” the Croatian president said.

Grabar-Kitarović expressed hope that the construction of roads, notably those within the Adriatic-Ionian motorway corridor, and of energy supply routes would be stepped up. We also discussed the Ionian-Adriatic Gas Pipeline (IAP) and its connection to the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP). This is also one of the ways to diversify energy supplies, she added.

On Thursday afternoon, Grabar Kitarović travelled to the Port of Durres to attend the presentation of the launch of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project to tackle marine pollution and prevent accidents affecting the Adriatic coast. The project called “Management of marine and coastline pollution for increased safety at sea and ports in line with EU maritime law and policy” is partly bankrolled by Croatia.

“I think that the money invested in this project is an excellent investment. The Adriatic Sea is a source of wealth… This is our environment and we are all responsible for it,” the president said. Preventing possible accidents is the most important step which we must take in the preservation of the coastal areas of the Adriatic, she added.

She underscored the role of the Adriatic Sea in tourism as one of the pillars of the Croatian and the Albanian economies.

Grabar-Kitarović will wrap up her three-day visit to Albania on Friday when she is due to lay a wreath in front of the Mother Albania Monument in Tirana.

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