Weather-resilient roads key to further growth and investment
As part of its effort to improve regional integration in the Western Balkans, the EBRD is providing a €40 million loan to contribute to the financing of the reconstruction of 216 km of Montenegro’s main roads.
The loan will be extended in three tranches to the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs.
The first tranche of €10 million will be used for a road section between the towns of Rožaje and the village of Spiljane near the Serbian border. The second and third tranches, each of €15 million, are expected to be made available in 2018 and 2019 for the upgrade of the Podgorica-Danilovgrad and Tivat-Jaz road sections in the south, respectively.
Darko Radunović, Minister of Finance of Montenegro, said: “This project demonstrates our government’s commitment to supporting the development of the country’s road infrastructure. This is important for economic growth and regional integration. The investment will facilitate the flow of goods and people, reduce transport costs and increase road safety.”
Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, added: “Some of Montenegro’s main roads are winding through the mountains and some lie next to the sea, which makes them very scenic, but also vulnerable to weather shocks. In order to help avoid the risk of erosion, landslides and floods, the EBRD-financed rehabilitation project will include improvements such as increased drainage capacity, reinforced road embankments and special bridge designs.”
Jaap Sprey, Head of the EBRD’s Office in Podgorica, commented: “Cross-border and national transport infrastructure are crucial for further growth and investment. Good-quality road connections can greatly expand access to jobs, markets, schools and hospitals in Montenegro. In particular, it will boost the tourism sector, an important contributor to the economy”.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Montenegro. To date the Bank has invested €530 million in over 50 projects in the country. Its investments aim to make the local economy more competitive, integrated and green.
According to the EBRD’s latest economic forecast, the Montenegrin economy will grow by 3.7 per cent this year and 3.3 per cent in 2018.