London, 10th November 2015 (MIA) – Macedonia was extended additional EUR 21 million from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), by which reconstruction of new express road from Stip to Kocani will be built rather than reconstructing the existing one.

Agreement was signed on Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, the first Vice President of the Bank Phil Bennett and the Director of the Public Enterprise for State Roads Aleksandar Stojanov.

Express road will be 28 km long and it will comprise four lanes. Traffic safety will be increased, which will also contribute to environmental protection. Its construction will commence during the first quarter next year.

– In London, we signed the Agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, aimed at financing the new express road from Stip to Kocani. This Project is EUR 53 million worth, aimed at building a completely new express road with four lanes, covering 28 km, which will connect Stip and Kocani. Thus, we meet the demands of the citizens of Stip, Kocani and the other inhabited areas, by building a modern road, which will provide for safer and faster traveling between these two cities. At the same time, it will also contribute to boosting the competitiveness in the region and attracting new investors who will use this road, Stavreski said at the signing of the Agreement.

He went on that the construction of the regional road from Stip to Kocani fits within the agenda of the Government of the Republic of Macedonia aimed at intensive construction of regional roads, out of which, as he said, EBRD also supports the construction of the road from Raevci to Drenovo that will soon commence, as well as the construction of the roads from Ohrid to Pestani and from Trebenista to Struga.

– There is also mutual cooperation as regards the railway infrastructure, whereby EBRD funds are used for constructing the railroad tracks to Bulgaria, and we also expect its support in the energy sector, Stavreski said, adding that major transportation projects are being completed in this manner, thus boosting the competitiveness of Macedonian economy.

He expressed gratitude for EBRD’s support in Macedonia, amounting to total of EUR 1.5 billion in the past period, most of which funds are earmarked for the transport infrastructure, the railways construction, as well as the private sector.

Phil Bennett, following the signing of the Agreement with EBRD, said that the infrastructure development was a key priority in Macedonia. Well developed and contemporary regional transport connections will both strengthen the regional links and improve the access of remote areas to larger markets. In addition, the improved design of the road extension will significantly increase the road safety, Bennet pointed out.

EBRD started investing in Macedonian economy in 1993. Until today, it has signed agreements for more than 90 projects in the country.

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