The ministers of Transport and Communications of Federation BiH and Republika Srpska signed on Monday a Memorandum of Understanding with the European Bank for reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which intends to make a massive increase in its support for the development and modernisation of the road infrastructure in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
EBRD announced that the Memorandum outlines an investment programme of over EUR 700 million for the period 2018-2020.
“Expanding the country’s road infrastructure and building modern motorways is a key requirement for the integration of Bosnia and Herzegovina and its economy with the region and strengthening links with western Europe. Improving connectivity is of critical importance for the Western Balkans economic convergence”, EBRD states in a press release.
The planned investment programme with company “Autoceste FBiH” includes the sections of Corridor Vc from Poprikuše to Nemila, from the Mostar South interchange to Tunnel Kvanj, from Karuše to the inter-entity boundary line in Tunnel Putnikovo Brdo, the tunnel Ivan and the section between tunnel Ivan and Mostar South interchange.
Investments with company “Autoputevi RS” also include Corridor Vc sections from Rudanka to the inter-entity boundary line in Tunnel Putnikovo Brdo and from Vukosavlje to Podnovlje.
“We are very pleased to sign this Memorandum of Understanding today. After the recent breakthrough at the political level we are now ready to deliver the projects which have been under preparation for some time and which are overdue for the future prosperity of the country. With these roads Bosnia and Herzegovina will move closer to where it belongs – the centre of Europe”, EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said.
Denis Lasić, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Federation of BiH, said that the signing of the memorandum reconfirms the joint goal, which is to create the preconditions for the implementation of capital infrastructure projects in BiH and to continuously and persistently work on the economic development of the country.
Nedjo Trninić, Minister of Transport and Communications of Republika Srpska, stated that Republika Srpska is committed to the development of infrastructure projects.
“The support of the EBRD is very important for the implementation of these projects. This memorandum confirms the excellent cooperation that has been developed over the years between our government and the EBRD”, Trninić stated.
Christian Danielsson, Director General DG NEAR – Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission underlines that the European Commission welcomes this MoU between the EBRD and Bosnia and Herzegovina and stands ready to provide further EU grant funding for this important connection. In this perspective, added Danielsson, the European Commission has already committed around EUR 100 million since 2015.
Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the EBRD has invested more than EUR 2.1 billion in over 146 projects in the country. The Bank focuses on supporting restructuring and expansion of the local private sector, forging closer links with wider regional markets and promoting a more efficient and sustainable use of resources./IBNA