(Kjafasan, North Macedonia) To facilitate trade and transport and enhance cross-border cooperation between North Macedonia and Albania, the U.S. Government, through USAID, is assisting the customs administrations of both countries to develop a joint border crossing point at the largest crossing between them: Kjafasan – Qafë Thanë. Joint border crossings significantly reduce the time to move goods across borders, and establishing them is a critical step to better prepare these countries for economic integration into the EU.
In support of the Bilateral Framework Agreement on establishing Joint Border Crossing Points signed by Prime Ministers Rama and Zaev, the U.S. Government will partner with both governments to strengthen the capacity of their customs administrations to perform joint border controls in line with international standards and best practices.
“This agreement will help build stronger, more sustainable, and better-connected economies, improving the lives of your citizens by connecting your countries to EU markets more quickly than before and reducing physical barriers, opening up even greater economic opportunities for the entire region,” said the U.S. Ambassador to North Macedonia, Kate Marie Byrnes.
USAID has contributed US $100,000 for equipment, including mobile scanners, density meters, cameras, that will be used by the customs officers of both North Macedonia and Albania. USAID will also provide technical advice and organize study visits to familiarize both countries’ customs staffs with the processes for establishing, managing, and operating joint crossing points.
The U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Yuri Kim, said “In this region, there is a saying: ‘The one who doesn’t have the tool, doesn’t have the skill.’ The tools and equipment procured by USAID, along with the teamwork and close collaboration between both sides, will ensure that the Qafë Thanë - Kjafasan customs authorities reach high standards in terms of border procedures, facilitating a business enabling environment and security controls.”
USAID’s Economic Development, Governance and Enterprise Growth (EDGE) project is a regional initiative in 12 countries in Europe and Eurasia that aims to create inclusive, sustainable economic growth and to support intra-regional and Euro-Atlantic integration.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The American people, through USAID, have invested more than $830 million in North Macedonia since 1993. USAID is the world’s premier international development agency and a catalytic actor driving development results. USAID’s work advances U.S. national security and economic prosperity, demonstrates American generosity, and promotes a path to recipient self-reliance and resilience. Follow USAID in North Macedonia on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Web site.