Transport Ministers of Bulgaria, Albania, North Macedonia Sign Memorandum of Cooperation to Build Infrastructure along Corridor VIII
October 19 (BTA) - Bulgarian caretaker Transport, IT and
Communications Minister Hristo Aleksiev, Albanian Infrastructure
and Energy Minister Belinda Balluku and North Macedonia's
Transport and Communications Minister Blagoj Bocvarski Tuesday
signed a memorandum of cooperation on the construction of
sustainable infrastructure along Pan-European Corridor VIII.
Aleksiev described the transport corridor as an absolute
priority for Bulgaria and a project of great importance for the
region from a strategic point of view.
In Aleksiev's words, the memorandum was signed with clear
commitments which country has to work on which infrastructure
projects and on which connections in order to have a transport
corridor completed in the foreseeable future and working in
accordance with European standards.
The Bulgarian Transport Minister said that he and his
counterparts of Albania and North Macedonia had agreed on common
promotion actions. "We will consider this a joint project
together with the entire infrastructure - port, railway, road,
terminal infrastructure - that in time will operate with single
parameters and will provide good transport connectivity,
effective transport service and connectivity between the
Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea, as well as all cities and
economic regions along the corridor," Aleksiev said.
Bulgaria begins the construction of the missing connections
along Corridor VIII, starting with the launch of the public bid
for the Pernik-Radomir section (Western Bulgaria), he also said.
Albanian Infrastructure Minister Balluku said the memorandum is
very important for the development of the region as a whole and
for the connection of Albania, Bulgaria, and North Macedonia
with Italy and the whole of Europe. For Albania, this project is
very important for the development of tourism, trade, and ties
between people, she noted.
North Macedonia's Transport Minister Bocvarski said that as a EU
candidate country, North Macedonia is extremely interested in
Corridor VIII's construction in view of the transit between
countries and the quick movement of people, goods, and services.
He said his country plans to invest over 1 billion euro in
railway infrastructure alone along Corridor VIII.
Pan-European Corridor VIII is an intermodal corridor that
includes ports, roads, railway lines, airports, and the combined
and intermodal transport infrastructures needed for managing
the traffic along the route Bari/Brindisi - Otranto/Strait of
Otranto - Port of Durres/Port of Vlore - Tirana - Elbasan -
Kjafasan - Struga - Kicevo - Gostivar - Tetovo - Skopje -
Kumanovo - Kriva Palanka - Deve Bair - Kyustendil - Sofia -
Plovdiv - Burgas/Varna. On Bulgarian territory, Pan-European
Corridor VIII intersects or connects directly with the routes of
Corridors IV, IX, and X. Its total length is between 1,220 and
1,350 km depending on the specifics of its road and railway
routes, with 52 per cent of its road infrastructure and over 55
per cent of its railway infrastructure being on Bulgarian
All sections of Pan-European Corridor VIII in Bulgaria have been
built and are already in use, with the sole exception of the
2.5 km railway line from Gyueshevo to the Bulgarian-Macedonian
border, negotiations on which have been held for nearly 20