Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure prof. Zorana Mihajlovic said that the Ministry, along with the completion of the construction projects and construction of new highways, will continue to work on reducing the crowds at the borders as one of its priorities, through a joint project with the World Bank.
“World Bank has approved $40million to Serbia in the framework of the “Trade and Transport Facilitation” project, which is aimed at reducing the retention time at border crossings. It is a regional project in which, in addition to Serbia, Northern Macedonia and Albania are included, and the total value of the World Bank loan for all three countries is $ 90 million,” says Mihajlovic.
The loan contracted this year was ratified at the National Assembly in late May. The beneficiaries of the funds are the Customs Administration, “Infrastructure of Railways of Serbia”, PE “Roads of Serbia” and “Corridors of Serbia”, and it is planned that the loan will be operational in the second half of 2019.
“In the past four years, Serbia has built about 300 kilometres of highways, and during that period of time, the number of vehicles on our highways has increased from 37 million to nearly 54 million vehicles in 2018. After releasing the Southern fork of the Corridor 10 for traffic, and with nearly completed entire Eastern fork of Corridor 10 towards Bulgaria, we expect further growth of transit traffic through Serbia. Unlike the past, infrastructure is no longer a major problem for the faster movement of people and goods in the region, but it is becoming a border procedure and a long delay in the transition between countries,” Mihajlovic said.
World Bank project encompasses several components, among other things, facilitating long retention at border crossings, developing intelligent transport systems on Corridor 10, and improving road and rail crossings on railway infrastructure. The project implementation unit will be within Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, as this will be the focus of the activities, while the financing and contracting of works and services will be within Ministry of Finance.