Turkey has set aside around 500 million euros to finance infrastructure projects in Serbia. Currently, “a model for this funding is being sought,” Tanjug reported on Friday.
“Whether the loans will be received by Turkish construction companies that will participate in tenders in Serbia to build road, or if it will be some other type of loan at more favorable interest rates, I cannot say right now – but construction of infrastructure will definitely be one of the priorities,” said cabinet minister and one of deputy PMs Rasim Ljajic, replying to a question posed in the Serbian Assembly by people’s deputy Muamer Zukorlic.
Ljajic, who heads the ministry of tourism and telecommunications, added that he expect representatives of Turkey’s Eximbank to visit in November, when “the interest rates, exclusively” would be on the agenda.
Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure Zorana Mihajlovic, answering the same question, said that during the last three years considerable funds had been invested in the transport system.
She said that in 2015, 82 million dinars had been invested in regular maintenance of road infrastructure the Novi Pazar municipality, in 2016 – 110 million, and 2017 – 210 million.
“We took out 400 million euros – 300 million from a World Bank, EIB, and EBRD loan, and 100 million from the state budget to rehabilitate 1,000 kilometers of roads. We have a five-year plan about which roads these will be, we tried to cover the most critical ones, and 250 kilometers in that part of Serbia are scheduled to be rehabilitated in 2018 and 2019,” Mihajlovic said.
She added that during the recent visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, interest rates had been discussed – “and it is unacceptable to us that they should be 6.5 or 5.5 percent.”
“We have been promised an interest rate below 2.5 percent, we’ll wait on that. We are waiting for the negotiations, and I expect that as a state we will be able to provide guarantees for the credit for further investment in roads,” Mihajlovic said.