Western Balkans Ports as Gateways for Regional Connectivity

Tirana, 30 September – To mark the World Maritime Day and highlight the essential role of Western Balkans ports, Transport Community Permanent Secretariat, the Ministry of Infrastructure and Energy of Albania and the Port of Durres organised today a conference “Towards a resilient, competitive and sustainable maritime sector in the Western Balkans”.

“Today is a special day for the Western Balkans maritime sector. For the first time we gathered the entire maritime sector. The philosophy of connecting port cities such as Durres in Albania or Bar in Montenegro to their hinterlands with modern railway systems is at the heart of what we want to achieve,” Matej Zakonjsek, Director of the Transport Community Permanent Secreatariat stated at the conference opening, while highlighting the essential role of Corridor VIII, linking the Adriatic and the Black Sea.

“Maritime transport and maritime ports play a paramount role in supplying and distributing goods and in keeping the economy running, especially in these challenging times. European maritime ports are gateways for trade and enablers of smooth functioning of supply chains and we would like to see ports in the Western Balkans reach the same potential. Ports in the region also need to remain resilient and fit for future and will need a policy framework that gives them the support, but also the flexibility to respond to sudden changes and developments,” Zakonjsek said.

Transport Community supports sustainable maritime transport in the Western Balkans and the first milestone on this path was the development of the Action Plan for Waterborne Transport and Multimodality, which was endorsed by all Western Balkans regional partners. Today’s conference was also an opportunity to highlight maritime industry’s vital contribution to economy. This year, due to Covid-19 pandemic, participants noted the challenges faced by seafarers as essential workers and the need to raise awareness of their vital role and increase their visibility.


For additional information contact:

Marko Kovačević, Transport Community Communication Officer, +382 67 262 018

Action Plan for Waterborne Transport and Multimodality,