Improving Macedonian roads and regional integration

By Vanora Bennett


€181 million of EBRD finance contributing to upgrade of road network

Upgrading the Macedonian transport infrastructure and strengthening regional integration the EBRD is providing a €86 million loan to the Macedonian Public Enterprise for State Roads (PESR).

This second tranche of a loan totalling €181 million will finance the upgrade of 26 sections of the Macedonian road network covering more than 400 km of regional and local roads in the country.

EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are delighted to contribute not only to national infrastructure development but also to the regional integration of the Western Balkans which is crucial to boost trade and development. This will bring improvements to citizens’ daily lives as well as allow businesses to develop and grow.”

The works will include the reconstruction of pavements with new asphalt and sub-layers as well as the replacement of traffic signs, road edge markers and guard rails.

The Macedonian Minister of Finance, Dragan Tevdovski, added: “Providing reliable infrastructure is one of our development priorities and thanks also to the cooperation with the EBRD we are making good progress in guaranteeing better transport in the country.”

The first phase of the operation capitalised on sector reforms on road maintenance which helped to create more contract opportunities for the private sector.

The overall operation will significantly improve road safety in the country. In addition, the investment programme includes institutional capacity building to enhance national standards on road safety through training and by conducting audits and surveys on regional road safety.

Building on initiatives through previous projects, the second tranche will further facilitate reforms in the financing of the road sector. Additional technical assistance will help enhance PESR's financial sustainability, including through a review of the current tariff methodology for setting tolls.

Zoran Kitanov, Director of PESR, said: “We are very happy to continue to work with the Bank to make our national and regional road network more secure and resilient. This project is a major contribution to the improvement of the regional and local road network and underlines our commitment to modernise our country.”

The investment is in part supported by technical cooperation funds from the Central European Initiative (CEI) provided by the government of Italy.

The EBRD has been investing in the Macedonian economy since 1993. To date, the Bank has signed over 100 projects in the country with a net cumulative business volume of more than €1.6 billion.