China Pledges to Help Albania Build Highway

  Albania is hoping to tap Chinese money for an important and costly highway to Macedonia, Albanian and Chinese media reported on Wednesday after Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama met Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at an economic forum in Tianjin.
“Prime Minister Rama thanked the Chinese Prime Minister for the support that his country has given for the development of some important projects in infrastructure, trade and economy,” Rama’s office announced in a press release.

“China pledged closer cooperation with Albania as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang discussed plans to construct a highway linking Albania and Macedonia… Li made the pledge during a meeting with Rama on the sidelines of the Summer Davos in north China's Tianjin city,” Chinese state press agency Xinhua wrote.

Albanian media reported that the highway in question is the “Rruga e Arberit” project, which aims to link Albania’s capital with the border town of Debar in Macedonia – Dibra in Albanian. 

The project concept has been widely discussed in Albania for years and is deemed of political importance for Rama’s Socialist Party. The Dibra region, split between Albania and Macedonia, is one of the last pockets without modern road access to Tirana.

The project will include two long tunnels and it is expected to cut travel time from 4.5 hours currently to 1.5 hours. It would also link Tirana and Skopje faster than the current road.

However, the project is estimated to cost several hundreds of millions of Euros and it will end actually in a poor region with less than 100,000 inhabitants.

Chinese economic power had lured many countries in the Balkans till now.

Montenegro was hopping in the last few years to tap Chinese money for a new highway toward Serbia while in December, Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said he and Li Keqiang, the Chinese Prime Minister, will jointly host a summit of Central and Eastern European leaders in Belgrade.

Meanwhile, Macedonia last year raised a Chinese credit worth 574 million euros to construct two stretches of motorway that will significantly improve the country's transport infrastructure./birn/
- Oculus News

China Pledges to Help Albania Build Highway  China Pledges to Help Albania Build Highway Saturday, September 13, 2014 Rating: 5
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