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EBRD finances road repairs and upgrades in Bosnia and Herzegovina

By Axel  Reiserer

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EBRD finances road repairs and upgrades in Bosnia and Herzegovina

€65 million loan to support comprehensive investment programme

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a sovereign loan of up to €65 million to Bosnia and Herzegovina to support an infrastructure programme aimed at repairing and upgrading the country’s road network, which has been damaged by severe floods in recent years.

The improvements to the network will support regional connectivity, making it easier for domestic companies to transport their products to local and regional customers. Supporting regional integration is one of the EBRD’s three main strategic priorities.

The EBRD loan will be extended to the public company “Roads of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The European Investment Bank and the World Bank are expected to provide parallel financing for other road sections under the company’s priority investment programme.

Due to the mountainous terrain, roads are the main means of transport in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with 70 per cent of cargo and 90 per cent of passengers carried on its roads. The EBRD loan will contribute to the improvement of service and traffic safety on the country's road network.

The EBRD funds will not only support road improvements but also measures to strengthen the company’s management, enhance procurement procedures, upgrade road traffic safety systems and procedures, introduce measures to increase climate change resilience and improve the company’s economic performance. The state-owned firm is in charge of the construction, rehabilitation, maintenance and protection of a network of 2,000 km of main roads in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Phil Bennett, EBRD First Vice President, said: “For the EBRD, this is a very important project as Bosnia and Herzegovina has been badly hit by severe floods in recent years. We are pleased to be able to take part in the repair and wider reconstruction of the road network to achieve a higher level of sustainability, improve the daily lives of citizens and create new opportunities for businesses.”

Vjekoslav Bevanda, Minister of Finance and Treasury of Bosnia and Herzegovina, said: “We are grateful for the EBRD’s support in this very important road innovation project. We see it as an economic priority to connect our regions via national roads and international connections. This project is beneficial for the people, the country and for sustainable economic development.”

Since the beginning of its operations in Bosnia and Herzegovina the EBRD has invested more than €1.8 billion in over 130 projects in the country. Strengthening regional integration is one of the three key priorities of the EBRD under the Bank’s current business strategy that aims to re-energise growth in its countries of operations, promote regional integration and address global and regional challenges.

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