Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Nikolic: Infrastructure projects to transform Serbia's image

12/24/2013 3:44:00 PM

BELGRADE - Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic said on Tuesday that Serbia is embarking on a swift and organised campaign aimed at carrying out infrastructure projects that will improve the country's image very quickly, pull out its economy out of recession and reinvigorate its impoverished people, who have been languishing for years.

  Marking the start of preparatory works on a Corridor XI motorway section from Obrenovac to Ljig, Nikolic said that Serbia is following the example set by China - the engine of global economy - and implementing its development-related experiences. "Without a developed infrastructure, a competitive and advanced economy, or a modern country and society, cannot be imagined today. A well-developed infrastructure shortens the distances separating regions, integrates the national market and provides easier access to markets in regional countries," Nikolic said. The president pointed out that Serbia's task is to show Chinese businesspersons that its legal and economic system is functioning, and that a decision to invest in Serbia "entails the usual commercial risk." Nikolic also pointed out that Serbia and China have traditionally good ties, adding that the signing of the agreement on economic and technical cooperation in the field of infrastructure has laid the foundations for major projects and investment projects, which will boost the economic cooperation between the two countries. 

 The preparatory works on the Corridor XI section were started by China's Shandong Hi-Speed Group. The start of the works was attended by Serbia's Minister of Construction Velimir Ilic, Minister of Transport Aleksandar Antic, Minister of Mining Milan Bacevic, as well as by Corridors of Serbia Director Dmitar Djurovic and China's Ambassador to Serbia Zhang Wanxue. The section from Obrenovac to Ub is 26.2 kilometres long, with the section from Lajkovac to Ljig spanning 24 km. Serbian companies will account for at least 40 percent of the project work. 

 A total of USD 333.7 million has been earmarked for the project, with 10 percent of the sum provided by Serbia. The turnover deadline is 37 months, and the works are funded by a loan from China's Exim Bank. The loan conditions are favourable, as it is to be repaid in 20 years - including a five-year grace period - at a fixed annual interest rate of 2.5 percent. Photo Tanjug, N. Milosevic

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