Presidents of Bulgaria, Albania Discuss Energy, Transport Links
Improving connectivity in the sectors of energy and transport dominated talks between the presidents of Bulgaria and Albania in Sofia on Tuesday.
Poor connectivity in the Balkans is a major impediment to the region’s economic development and hampers the inflow of foreign investment, the Bulgarian head of state Rosen Plevneliev said during a joint news conference with his Albanian counterpart Bujar Nishani who is paying an official visit to Bulgaria.
Albania and Bulgaria remain committed to construction of pan-European Transport Corridor № 8 and the completion of the railway line linking Sofia with the Albanian sea port of Durres via the capitals of Macedonia (Skopje) and Albania (Tirana), the two presidents said.
"For both Bulgaria and Albania it is important to be connected by a railway and a motorway and why not a direct air service", Plevneliev said.
Modern transport infrastructure will encourage business contacts, he added, according to a news release provided by the presidential press service.
The two presidents agreed that improved connectivity will increase the security of energy supplies and enhance the diversification of suppliers and routes. "The countries of Southeast Europe should unite and build their regional market for gas and electricity," Plevneliev said.
Connecting the electricity networks of the Balkan countries will help boost power exports from Bulgaria, which is a traditional supplier of electricity to the region.
Albania has significant water resources and Bulgarian companies can participate in the construction of new hydropower plants, Nishani said.
Plevneliev and Nishani will open a Bulgarian-Albanian bisiness forum in Sofia on Wednesday. Bulgarian companies have expressed interest in taking part in the construction of infrastructure projects in Albania funded by the World Bank, EBRD and EIB, according to the press release.
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