Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, prof. Zorana Mihajlovic PhD., said today that Serbia and the People’s Republic of China are implementing projects in the transport infrastructure, worth 7.5 billion euros, including ongoing projects and those whose implementation is planned.
Mihajlovic, who participated in the topic “Infrastructure Connectivity” panel, within the Second Belt and Road Forum ” BRF “, said that Serbia is proud of joining the Chinese Global Initiative “One Belt, One Road” from the very beginning, which gave a new impetus to international economic cooperation.
“Connectivity is one of the cornerstones of the” Belt and Road “initiative and it is important not only for the physical flows of people, goods, labor, and capital but also the transfer of knowledge and values.
“Given the economic viability and ecological importance of the railway, Serbia gives special attention to the railway infrastructure, both at the national and regional level. Progress made by PR China, Serbia and Hungary on the Belgrade-Budapest railroad project is one of the first successful cooperation projects implemented under the auspices of these initiatives, “said Mihajlovic, who is in an official visit to China as a Member of a State delegation led by President of Serbia Aleksandar Vucic.
Mihajlovic said that Serbia is finalising a current investment cycle, within which about 500 km of railways and 300 km of highways have been reconstructed, including the completion of the construction of the southern and eastern arm of the road Corridor 10 and the highway from Obrenovac to Cacak.
“This year we are launching new projects, including the construction of five new highways that are important for regional integration. In the railways, the priority is the construction of the Belgrade-Budapest highway and non-constructed sections Belgrade-Nis-Presevo, which will modernise the entire railway Corridor 10, “Mihajlovic said.
She pointed out that the strategic goals of Serbia in cooperation with PR China are to develop and promote the route of the land section of the Silk Road – the railroad-road corridor from Port Piraeus to central and central Europe with a strategic route across the territory of Serbia.
Deputy Prime Minister emphasised that investments in infrastructure are a requirement for economic development and new investments.
“Also, examples of investment in Zelezara Smederevo, RTB Bor, as well as the opening of the tire factory in Zrenjanin, say that Chinese companies have recognised the potentials of the Serbian market and the geographical location of Serbia,” Mihajlovic said.
She stressed that Serbia, as a country on its path to EU membership, is particularly pleased that the PR China and the European Union are deepening the exchange and cooperation within the existing programs and dialogue, but also to develop new strategic cooperation agendas for the future.
“For Serbia, the modernisation of infrastructure is not only a question of how much of the contribution will be from infrastructure projects to economic growth but whether growth is possible without investment in infrastructure.
In Serbia, in the past years, investment in infrastructure has been the main driver of GDP growth, resulting in our interest in cooperating with everyone in this area, both with the EU, with international development institutions, and with our Chinese partners, especially thanks to the mechanism of cooperation China and CIEZ 16 + 1, which is a regional part of the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, ” said Mihajlovic.