UNDP RR, Ghulam M. Isaczai’s speech at the Steering Committee Meeting of the project on “Support to the Development of Red Bridge AZE-GEO Border Crossing Point

Mar 1, 2017

Dear

Mr.Aydin Aliyev, Head of the Azerbaijan State Customs Committee,

Ms.Malena Mard, Ambassador of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan Republic,

Mr. Giorgi Tabuashvili, Director General of Georgian Revenue Service, 1st Deputy Minister of Finance

Mr. Niels Scott - UNDP Resident Representative, Georgia

Distinguished guests,

Thank you for joining us today for the first Steering Committee Meeting which we are particularly happy to be able to organize right at the location where the project operates - the border between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Our ongoing EU funded Project on “Support to the Development of Red Bridge Border Crossing Point between Azerbaijan and Georgia” is the gradual evolution of the successful partnership between UNDP, EU Delegation and Governments of Azerbaijan and Georgia. In Azerbaijan the project supports institutional development and capacity building of the Azerbaijan State Customs Committee with the aim of facilitating trade and ensure secure traffic flow between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Today we will get an opportunity to review the achievements of the project in both of the countries as well as discuss our future plans. We will also be familiarized with the design and model plan of the Sanitary and phytosanitary laboratory on the Georgian side of the Checkpoint, and Customs Terminal Complex construction area on the Azerbaijan side.

I would like once again to emphasize the importance of the Red Bridge project for the facilitation of imports and exports between the two countries. The current lack of a secure customs clearance area outside of the Border Crossing Point in Azerbaijan means that shipments which cannot be cleared immediately hold up processing for all other cargos.  A secure ‘overflow’ area would allow for secondary checks and facilitate border flows and, more importantly reduce the time required for the processing of the cargos. It is expected that the dedicated terminal area at Red Bridge will reduce the time for cargo trucks from 20 to 10 minutes and thus increase at least by 40% the volume of the cargo passing through the border.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation to the EU Delegation for their outstanding partnership and their financial contribution to this work. I would also like to thank the State Customs Committee and the Georgian Revenue Service for their fruitful collaboration and successful implementation of UNDP implemented border management initiatives, in general, and the Red Bridge project in particular, and reiterate UNDP’s readiness and commitment for continuing its support to the Government of Azerbaijan and Georgia in its efforts to implement this ambitious reform program.  

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