Reconstructed Blace border crossing inaugurated (UPD)
Increased flow of people and goods and better efficiency in the functioning of border services will be enabled with the reconstructed border crossing Blace with Kosovo, which was inaugurated on Friday.
The number of traffic lanes (four for entering and three for exiting the country) was increased with the reconstruction, which was funded by the World Bank with Euro 1.8 million.
The border crossing was put into function by Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska, Customs Administration director Vanco Kargov and the director of the World Bank office in Macedonia, Tatiana Proskuryakova.
The modernization of Blace border crossing is a strong signal for the good neighborly relations between Macedonia and Kosovo and toward improving the conditions for the citizens and business communities in the countries.
“The first impression for a country is made by the border crossing. It was of crucial importance to improve the conditions, build better facilities in order the citizens to complete customs formalities and businessmen to determine duties of the goods they are transporting. Now customs officers and border police have better conditions to do their job as they should” Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski said at a ceremony.
According to Minister Jankuloska, the reconstruction of Blace will enable it to function better and more efficiently.
“It is important for the Interior Ministry and the border police that the revamped border crossing will immensely affect in terms of improving the quality of control of the daily border crossing flow. It is also in the interest of the citizens of Macedonia and Kosovo and other countries that use or will start using it in the future,” Jankuloska noted.
WB official Proskuryakova said the border crossing played a key role in the exchange of communication between Macedonia and Kosovo. “The modernization of Blace border crossing allows people and vehicles to move more quickly and more effectively. The citizens used to wait 10 minutes to cross the border. Now only 2,5 minutes are enough,” she stated.
Nearly two million people crossed the border crossing in both directions throughout the year. Products estimated at 280 million dollars were exported through Blace from January till November 2013. Of the amount, 277 million were exported in Kosovo. Import in the same period was estimated at 51 million dollars with import from Kosovo standing at 38 million. Trade exchange through the border crossing Blace for a period of 11 months was 330 million dollars i.e. approximately 10% of Macedonia’s total trade exchange.
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