EBRD helps improve Macedonian national roads

By Viktorija Melohina


€160 million to modernise central and eastern sections of road network
 
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is improving regional interconnectivity in the Western Balkans by financing the construction and reconstruction of two national road sections in FYR Macedonia.
 
A sovereign guaranteed loan of up to €160 million will be extended in two tranches to the Public Enterprise for State Roads (PESR), a company fully owned by FYR Macedonia, and responsible for the operation and maintenance of the national and regional road networks in the country.
 
The first tranche of €74 million, signed today, will be used for the reconstruction of the road section between Stip and the eastern town of Kocani, and the construction of a road section between the central villages of Raec and Drenovo. This is the fourth EBRD investment in the Macedonian road sector since 2001.
 
A key element of the investment is the improvement of road safety. In addition to providing better roads the project also includes capacity building, including safety audits.
 
“We see the need for infrastructure development in the country as one of the key priorities for the EBRD in FYR Macedonia. Large investments in transport infrastructure are crucial for the country’s regional integration, which is essential for promoting growth and prosperity. We are pleased to help extend and improve the Macedonian road infrastructure and in doing so, raising standards in line with best practice,” said EBRD Director for Transport, Sue Barrett.
 
“A well-developed and modern transport infrastructure is critical for achieving sustainable economic growth. This is vital for the Western Balkans region, where new road links are under construction that will not only connect the countries of the region with each other, but also with the rest of Europe – thus fulfilling the aspiration to become an integral part of Europe. The Macedonian national road network is the main link connecting regional economic centres and strategic international border crossings with Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Kosovo and Serbia,” said Anca Ioana Ionescu, Head of the EBRD Resident Office in Skopje.
 
“We are pleased to have developed such a strong long-term partnership with the EBRD. We see it as an economic priority connecting the Macedonian regions via national roads and international connections. This project is beneficial for the people of FYR Macedonia, as it helps to boost trade and creates new jobs,” said Mr. Ljupco Georgievski, General Manager of PESR.
 
The EBRD began investing in the Macedonian economy in 1993. To date it has signed over 90 projects in the country with a net cumulative business volume of more than €1.2 billion.