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Fifth annual consultations held

Port Governance Agency has held the fifth regular annual consultation with Groups for ports and harbors, inland shipping and shipping agents. The conference was attended by more than 80 participants, including the representatives of the Danube Commission, the Authority for Determination of Seaworthiness, the National Tourism Organization of Serbia, PWE Srbijavode, Vode Vojvodine, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Vojvodina, Faculty of transport and traffic engineering and other relevant state institutions.


Vuk Perovic, the director of the Agency, noted that 2019 was extremely successful for cargo handling and passenger transport on rivers in Serbia. According to him, it is expected that around 13.5 million tonnes of cargo will be transhipped in Serbian ports by the end of this year, 10% more than the previous year.


When it comes to passenger transport, Perovic said this year's nautical season broke the record. On International passenger terminals in Serbia 1,539 port calls were recorded, 30% than in last year's season. The number of the embarked and disembarked passengers is increased by 30%- more than 208,000 passengers were recorded. Referring to the passenger transport, he said that Agency has worked intensely in the previous period to open new international passenger terminals and promote cruising through the project "Awake the Danube".


The Serbian government has declared 21 port areas so far, including 10 cargo ports and 8 international passenger terminals. Another 4 port areas are expected to be declared in the coming period, including the first marina in Serbia in the municipality of Kladovo, Perovic said, adding that the marina is a new development opportunity and an important part of the water passenger transport in Serbia.


Sanja Djurisic, president of the Group for Ports and harbors, noted that 2019 was better for business than the previous year, despite low-water periods. Emphasizing the cooperation with the Agency over the past five years, she added that the group will continue to actively contribute to the improvement of the port area.


Dejan Trifunovic from the Danube Commission said that Agency has conducted noticeable activities in the past period. He said that the Danube Commission supports the maintenance of forums such as annual consultations, keeping in mind that the meetings like this represent the best practice to find a solution for more successful waterway transport. Trifunovic presented plans of the Danube Commission for the next period, which include new investments, digitalisation and harmonisation of procedures. He announced the continuation of the Interreg project DAPhNE through the formation of a new project consortium, DIONYSUS. He added that the Agency was invited to participate in the continuation of the project due to its valuable work during the activities on the DAPhNE project.


During the discussion, participants agreed that annual consultations provide great opportunity for port operators, shippers and shipping agents to express their opinions and suggestions in order to improve business and waterway transport in general.


A large number of participants at this year's meeting is a reflection of the good cooperation of all subjects in waterway transport which is the main prerequisite for the development of this type of transport, as it was said at the meeting.