Simplified procedures and reduced waiting times, modern infrastructure and equipment, and improved security – these are only a few of the many advantages that the new border crossing point (BCP) in Bagratashen will provide to ordinary citizens of Armenia travelling from Armenia to Georgia.
H.E. Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia, Mr. Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Vardan Harutyunyan, Chairman of the RA State Revenue Committee, Mr. Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of the Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Mr. Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia, Mr. Sébastien Husson de Sampigny, Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus, and representatives of government agencies responsible for border management, as well as international organizations, diplomatic corps and media attended the official opening ceremony of the Bagratashen BCP within the framework of EU-funded and UNDP implemented “Modernisation of Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan Border Crossing Points of Armenia” (MBBG) project. The event participants toured the facility.
The process of modernisation of Armenia’s BCPs started back in 2010, based on the RA President’s Directive on adoption of RA Border Security and State Border Integrated Border Management Strategy, which was followed by adoption of the 2011-2015 Action Plan for implementation of the Strategy. The main goal of the Action Plan was modernisation of the above mentioned three BCPs - Bagratashen, Bavra and Gogavan.
“In addition to the positive impacts and benefits of improved controls and increased volumes of trade and transit, this new facility is a tangible and visible expression of the Armenian Government’s broader effort to improve border management, with the support of the European Union (EU) and UNDP, in order to accelerate development progress and to protect development gains,” announced the high level guests that took part in the official opening ceremony of the Bagratashen BCP within the framework of EU-funded and UNDP implemented MBBG project.
“The European Union funds numerous inter-related programmes at all Armenian border posts with Georgia and Iran: supporting the creation of e-governance single window, financing physical and IT infrastructure, providing training and required studies, as well as ensuring exchange of best practices. Today, we can witness the impact of the European Union's cooperation effort in Bagratashen. Now, Armenian citizens can cross this border point in a faster, more secured and more efficient manner. Trade is facilitated and will support further economic and social development for the benefit of Armenian citizens and the entire region,” said Hoa-Binh Adjemian, Head of the Cooperation Section of the European Union Delegation to Armenia.
Sébastien Husson de Sampigny, Head of the EIB Regional Representation for the South Caucasus, commented: “the European Investment Bank supports, as the EU bank, the Armenian Government’s key priority of fostering the development of crossing points between Armenia and Georgia, as the Bagratashen one, that can comply with the increased demands for smoother flow of people, vehicles and goods between Armenia and Georgia in terms of quality and capacity. This new modern infrastructure will have positive implications for standards of everyday life of citizens, increase security and improve trade exchange in the whole region.”
“The opening of the new Bagratashen BCP with Georgia today is a significant milestone. It sends a clear signal of Armenia’s openness to the world, its desire to engage with the global trading community, and its commitment to addressing international security challenges that threaten us all. The new facility is one of the prerequisites for border agencies to do their work, to facilitate trade, and to enhance security. But facilities are only one part of the story. The BCP should help to raise standards that affect the daily lives of all Armenian people: through improved facilities and professional border staff Armenia can ensure that the foodstuffs we eat are safe, that the goods we buy are manufactured to a certain standard and free from dangerous faults, and that imported falsified goods and medicines are detected,” said Bradley Busetto, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Armenia.
The potential gains from the new BCP are not limited to businesses alone. The ability to move across borders freely and easily, and to engage in small-scale cross-border trade is vitally important to local border communities, increasing livelihood opportunities and access to services. In addition, the EU and UNDP worked together to ensure modern and streamlined procedures and trained 700 border officials in search techniques, profiling, dealing with refugees, and fighting drug trafficking.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations UNDP in Armenia was established in March 1993, and supports the government in meeting its development priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals.
The European Commission is the EU’s executive body. The European Union is made up of 28 Member States who have decided to gradually link together their know-how, resources and destinies. Together, during a period of enlargement of 50 years, they have built a zone of stability, democracy and sustainable development whilst maintaining cultural diversity, tolerance and individual freedoms. The European Union is committed to sharing its achievements and its values with countries and peoples beyond its borders.
The European Investment Bank the EU’s bank – finances projects in Armenia on the basis of an EU Council and European Parliament mandate for the countries of the Eastern Neighbourhood. Until now, the EIB provided 10 sovereign loans to the Republic of Armenia with a total amount of EUR 207m. The current 2014-2020 mandate allows the EIB to provide financing of up to EUR 4.8 billion to support projects of significant interest to both the EU and its Eastern Neighbours in the areas of local private sector development, social and economic infrastructure and climate change. To enhance this support the Bank also has set up an own-risk Neighbourhood Finance Facility in the amount of EUR 3 billion.