Chinese firm wins $330m road contract in Republic of Serbia

SARAJEVO, Aug 24 (Reuters) – The Autonomous Serb Republic of Bosnia on Wednesday reached a 650 million Bosnian mark ($330 million) deal with China State Construction Engineering Corp. ltd. (601668.SS) for the construction of a section of motorway linking the region to Serbia.

Preparatory works for the 33-kilometre-long Vukosavlje-Brcko section in northern Bosnia are expected to start in late August, said Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia Radovan Viskovic.

The funding estimate for the section of highway linking Prijedor in western Bosnia to the Serbian capital, Belgrade, did not include VAT, he added.

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The Serbian Republic wants to build a modern highway linking most of its territory to Serbia, its political ally and biggest trading partner.

Viskovic said the Chinese company was chosen as the most favorable bidder after the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development refused to back the project as non-vital.

He said the Republika Srpska will continue discussions with Chinese companies if the EBRD decides not to support other transport projects planned in the region.

“It shows that Republika Srpska has an alternative and cannot be blackmailed by some Westerners who try to influence political attitudes and political solutions by banning banks from investing money,” the leader said. Bosnian Serb Milorad Dodik, Serbian member of the three-man group from Bosnia. inter-ethnic presidency.

The pro-Russian nationalist Dodik advocates the secession of the Serbian Republic of Bosnia and its eventual union with Serbia.

Many Chinese companies are involved in the construction of roads and energy projects in Bosnia.

($1 = 1.970 Bosnian mark)

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Reporting by Daria Sito-Sucic; edited by Jason Neely

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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