TIRANA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Durres port in Albania will become a strategic point of freight transport for Albania and the whole region, Minister of Infrastructure and Energy Damian Gjiknuri declared on Friday.
Gjiknuri attended a meeting on the presentation of the "Maritime Sector Development" Project organized by the Norwegian Embassy in Tirana on Maritime Marina.
"The Albanian government is making important interventions in port infrastructure. Vlora port is being reconstructed, and Durres port is deepening. The government got a grant from the European Union (EU), and soon we will have important investments in the port of Durres. This will make processing capacities grow," stated Gjiknuri during the presentation.
According to Gjuknuri, the Norwegian Government will support Albania with a 1.4 million euro (about 1.6 million U.S. dollars) fund to provide technical assistance to harmonize the maritime sector legislation with that of the EU, and to support the Naval Marine Corps Department of Vlora University, southwest Albania to supply this sector with human resources.
"This support from the Norwegian government will enable the reform of this sector, by giving support to the University of Vlora, namely for the development of the Navy, by preparing people who will deal with this sector," underlined Gjiknuri.
Meanwhile the Ambassador of Norway to Albania and Kosovo, Per Strand Sjaastad declared that the maritime industries can be a new sector of development in Albania.
"Norway being one of the leading naval states, during the first phase will focus on the capabilities and capacity building of the public maritime authorities, education and study programs, as well as the collection of marine data, such as the basis of economic development," added Sjaastad.
The "Maritime Sector Development" Project presented in Tirana will be funded by the Government of Norway and implemented by UNDP in cooperation with the Albania's Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy. The project aims to increase the integration of Albanian Naval Standards in line with EU criteria through the creation of a maritime policy framework.