A loan agreement was signed with the Chinese Exim Bank in Beijing on May 16. The signing was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, and the agreement pertains to the financing of the project of reconstruction and modernization of the railway section Beograd Centar – Stara Pazova.
Annex 3 to the agreement on economic and technical cooperation in the filed of infrastructure, as well as the memorandum on defining the action plan for trade and investments in agriculture, were also signed.
The loan will be used to finance the reconstruction of the first section of the high-speed railway from Belgrade to Budapest, Beograd Centar – Stara Pazova, which will be the first railway in Serbia to accommodate train speeds of up to 200 km/h.
The time needed to travel between the capitals of Serbia and Hungary will drop to less than three hours, and the works on the railway will start this year. The railway from Belgrade to Budapest will be built in line with European standards and will be an integral part of European railway network.
The preferential loan amounts to USD 297.6 million.
The agreement was signed by Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic, in the presence of Vucic and Keqiang.
At the China Plus 16 summit, held in November 2016, Serbia and China signed an agreement on the loan for the works on the Belgrade-Budapest railway.
At the time, a commercial contract and a memorandum of understanding were signed with the Chinese Exim Bank, envisaging the construction of a two-track railway for speeds up to 200 km/h.
The general agreement on the construction was signed with the Chinese consortium of China Railway International Corporation and China Communications Construction Company.
The participation of local companies in the works and the procurement of the goods can amount to 46%. The Chinese are also to work on the second section, from Novi Sad to the Hungarian border, which is 108 kilometers long.
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