Tirana, 16 November 2018. Albania is set to boost development of its Maritime sector with the aim of supporting Albania on its path to sustainable growth. UNDP project "Development of the maritime sector" was launched in Tirana today. The Project funded by the Government of Norway and implemented by UNDP in partnership with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, aims to enhance the alignment of Albanian Maritime Standards in line with the EU requirements by developing a maritime transport policy framework.
The project has three key pillars, namely, (i) strengthening the maritime regulatory framework in accordance to the international maritime practice and EU legislative requirements; (ii) strengthening institutional capacity to harmonize standards and regulations through training and exchange programmes, and (iii) increasing governments efforts on promoting the establishment of maritime cluster and coordination.
The Ambassador of Norway to Kosovo and Albania, HE Per Strand Sjaastad, underlined: “Maritime industries may be a new growth sector in Albania. I welcome that Albanian authorities are making this a national priority. Norway is one of the leading maritime nations in the world. We are ready to assist Albania in developing the maritime sector. Focus in this first stage, will be on competence- and capacity-building in public maritime authorities, education and study programs as well as colleting maritime data, as a basis for economic development”.
UNDP Country Director, Mrs. Limya Eltayeb, highlighted: “We have in common the conviction that our seas and coasts hold the key to our future. The Adriatic and Ionian basins are a blessing and great resource, but they also face trade-offs concerning scarcity of space, risks in maritime security, scarcity of renewable resources, and degradation of the environment including effects on climate change. By improving governance of the maritime sector Albania will ensure more sustainable growth, which goes hand in hand with strengthening of the ports’ capabilities in order to accommodate and support the development of the multimodal transport ambitions for the country and for the region, also in the frame of the EU connectivity agenda for the Western Balkans”.
The project will benefit from the Norwegian experience as one of the leading maritime nations in Europe and beyond.
Key programme partners include the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy, the General Maritime Directorate, the Port Authorities in Albania, the Albanian Coast Guard, The Inter-Institutional Maritime Operational Centre, Ministry of Tourism and Environment and the private sector.
The maritime sector has seen growth in the past years, and as such is a source for further economic development and international cooperation. Data from INSTAT shows that in 2017 compared to 2016, the volume of freight loading and unloading in Albanian ports has increasing by 7.1 %; the number of passengers travelling by sea increased by 16.9%; goods exported by sea represent 62.8 % of the total transport; and goods imported by sea represent 48.6 %.
The favorable geographical position of Albania, linking the Adriatic and Ionian Seas and the Central Mediterranean Sea, makes Albania an important country for the development of maritime activities.
This intervention will contribute to Albania’s sustainable and equitable growth and increase competitiveness of the maritime sector.