An agreement between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on the European Union grant of EUR 15 million to co-finance the new section of Corridor Vc between Johovac and Rudanka, near Doboj, was signed on Thursday.
With this new section of Corridor Vc between Johovac and Rudanka with an approximate length of 6.1 km and two interchanges, the completion of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s main transport corridor is coming to a step closer. The EU grant worth EUR 15 million will be channelled through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF) and will complement a loan by the EBRD of up to EUR 70 million.
Head of the Delegation of the European Union and EU Special Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark said that the EUR 15 million grant is one out of 11 projects funded by the European Union in Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of the Connectivity Agenda with a total of EUR 217 million approved for BiH so far.
“At the recently held Western Balkans 6 Summit in Poznan, Poland, the EU endorsed a new Connectivity package that fulfils our EUR 1 billion pledge to the Western Balkans. BiH is a large recipient of these grants. Four of out of twelve new projects approved in Poznan are in BiH. These grants will be leveraging additional investments to build infrastructure to the benefit of citizens and the economy“,Wigemark emphasized.
Corridor Vc is the main international transport corridor in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which supports economic development and contributes to regional integration by improving connectivity within Bosnia and Herzegovina and with its neighbouring countries.
“We are pleased to sign this agreement today which illustrates the good progress that is being made with the construction of Corridor Vc. We are confident that establishing better links within the country and connecting it better with Europe will serve the cause of deeper integration, and not only economically,” said Ian Brown, Head of EBRD Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The new motorway section will connect to the Banja Luka – Doboj motorway and complement other current and planned investments in the northern and southern parts of Corridor Vc in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It will improve travel conditions, reduce congestion and provide local employment during the construction phase. The new motorway will also improve road safety, as it will reduce the heavy traffic that currently passes through the town of Doboj and local villages.
“Such agreements help boost local companies, create new jobs, and eventually enable us to move towards the EU in terms of transport links. As a result, we will have new motorways, bridges and faster links with the rest of the world, and all this will result in further economic growth”, said Vjekoslav Bevanda, Minister of Finance and Treasury of BiH.
Corridor Vc is expected to be completed by 2030 with the total cost estimated to be approximately EUR 4 billion. Under the Connectivity Agenda, the European Union has set aside up to EUR 1 billion in grants for the period of 2014-2020 through the WBIF to complement the loans from international financial institutions./ibna