Single Toll Collection for Trucks and Economy from July 21 – “Open Balkan ID” by September at the Latest, Corridor 10 Agreed to Go to Skopje and Greece

Source: eKapija Monday, 17.07.2023. 08:47
The tag (Photo: eKapija / Aleksandra Kekić)The tag
The Government of Serbia, with the "Open Balkans" initiative, wants to facilitate the flow of goods, people, capital and services, in order to make everyday life and trade easier for everyone in the country, and in order to increase the standard of citizens, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said yesterday.

Brnabic visited the Open Balkan sales point – electronic toll collection, at the Presevo toll station, in the direction of North Macedonia, in the company of Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovacevski, and the line ministers for transport, Goran Vesic and Blagoj Bocvarski.

As part of the "Open Balkans" initiative, we already have important results, and when Prime Minister Dmitar Kovacevski was in Serbia, we saw a huge increase in mutual trade, Brnabic said, as reported on the website of the Government of Serbia.

In 2022, the value of goods exchange was EUR 1.48 billion. Serbia exported a little less than a billion euros, and North Macedonia a little more than EUR 500 million. The increase was much greater on the side of North Macedonia, more than 56%, and on our side 16%. The "Open Balkans" initiative is a good thing for all parties, the Prime Minister stated.

The Prime Minister pointed out that, at that moment, the single toll collection tag could only be used for passenger traffic, and that from Friday, July 21, it would also be available for trucks and the economy.

She emphasized that “it is extremely important for Serbia that other countries join the project of uniform toll collection, because it will directly affect Serbia's GDP.”

Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Goran Vesic said that this project was in line with the policies of the two countries to enable the rapid flow of goods and capital. According to him, in the last ten days, more than 13,000 people in Serbia took this tag, which shows the interest in it.

– About 7,000 vehicles with Serbian license plates cross into North Macedonia every day. In the first six months, we had almost 33 million cars on our highways, and we expect them to be almost 72 million by the end of the year, which is an increase of 4.6%, and revenues are higher by 12.5% – Vesic said and pointed out that the common tag was proof that the two countries could work together.

Brnabic announced that the "Open Balkan ID" project would start in August or September and said that she believed that when they opened the Open Balkans, citizens from Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro would want to join.

The Prime Minister mentioned that railway Corridor 10, which would go from Belgrade, through Nis, Presevo to the border with North Macedonia, would go to Skopje and then to Greece.

It is a project that will be financed by the EU in part from grant funds for the Western Balkans. The next huge project and significant connection between Serbia and North Macedonia, it is said. Branbic said that she didn't believe that construction could start before 2025, when the design and technical documentation would be completed.

Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovacevski announced that the establishment of a software system for the smooth movement of workers between North Macedonia and Serbia would follow.

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