U.S. Trade and Development Agency
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USTDA GRANTS SUPPORT PORT SECURITY IN THE BALTICS
U.S. Ambassador to Estonia Aldona Wos (left) and Estonian Minister of Economy and Communication Edgar Savisaar (right) speak to each other at the signing ceremony for the USTDA grant on the development of a strategy and implementing plan at the Port of Tallinn.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 25, 2006) – Strengthening port security to support increased trade levels is the goal of two separate USTDA grants awarded in Estonia and Latvia. To help enhance and protect economic development in the Baltic region, the grants, totaling $551,040, will fund the development of a master security plan at the Ports of Riga, Ventspils, and Liepaja in Latvia and a strategy and implementation plan at the Port of Tallinn in Estonia.
Recognizing that trade is an essential catalyst for development, USTDA has supported a variety of port security projects around the world. Since 2001, USTDA has provided nearly $12.5 million in grants in support of priority projects in this sector in 14 countries.
The first grant, in the amount of $390,740, was awarded on September 12, 2006 to the Latvian Ministry of Transportation. U.S. Ambassador to Latvia Catherine Todd Bailey and Minister of Transportation Krišjānis Peters signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Latvian governments, respectively.
As a new member of the European Union and a member of the International Maritime Organization, Latvia is interested in developing a more comprehensive overall security plan for the nation’s major ports that focuses on an integrated systems approach to minimize loopholes in the individual port security plans. To support this effort, the USTDA grant will fund technical assistance to the Ministry of Transport in developing an integrated master security plan that will provide a layered security system for the Ports of Riga, Ventspils and Liepaja. The essence of the technical assistance will be to re-engineer the security processes at each of the ports so that, working together as a designed system, there is central management of overall port security.
The second grant, valued at $160,300, was awarded on September 21, 2006 to the Estonian Ministry of Economy and Communication. U.S. Ambassador to Estonia Aldona Wos and Minister of Economy and Communication Edgar Savisaar signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Estonian governments, respectively.
The Port of Tallinn is the largest cargo and passenger port in Estonia, and is the country’s only deep water port. The port consists of four harbors: Muuga, Old City Harbor, Paldiski South and Paljassaare. The Ministry and Management Board of the Port of Tallinn Board have indicated that they intend to take action to qualify the Port as a “secure link” in the transportation system and to develop economic benefits for the Port from this status. This requires that the Port meet all international port security standards, such as the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code. The USTDA-funded technical assistance will focus on containerized cargo moving into and from the Muuga Harbor only, as Muuga handles the bulk of all container traffic at the Port of Tallinn. The technical assistance will establish a framework for developing the “secure link” that can be subsequently applied to non-containerized cargo at the other constituent ports.
The contracting opportunities associated with the USTDA grants in Latvia and Estonia will be announced on the Federal Business Opportunities website at www.fedbizopps.gov. U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions contained in each Federal Business Opportunities announcement. The Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of Economy and Communication will select the U.S. firms that will provide the USTDA-funded assistance associated with their respective grants.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, orientation visits and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair and open trading environment. USTDA’s strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.