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China offers 18-yr loan to Hungary for overhaul of rail link to Serbia

China offers 18-yr loan to Hungary for overhaul of rail link to Serbia Peter Szijjarto; Source: Hungarian Government

BELGRADE (Serbia), January 12 (SeeNews) – Hungary's foreign minister Peter Szijjarto said China has offered an 18-year loan with an interest rate of 2.5% to finance the overhaul of the railway connecting Budapest to Serbia's capital Belgrade. 

In the absence of comparable European funds, Chinese funds are the best option for the overhaul of the Budapest-Belgrade railway line, Szijjarto said, according to a statement issued by the Hungarian government on Thursday. 

Competition among contractors may reduce prices, Szijjarto said at a news conference. 

Hungary's state-run railway operator MAV said in November it opened a tender for the overhaul of the 152 km-long Hungarian section of the Belgrade-Budapest railway line. Тhe estimated cost of the overhaul of the Hungarian section of the Belgrade-Budapest railway line will total 550 billion forints ($2.1 billion/1.77 billion euro) and works will start by the end of 2020, Szijjarto said at the time.

Serbia's infrastructure ministry said in May it signed an agreement with the Export-Import Bank of China for a loan worth $297.6 million (245.4 million euro) for the overhaul of the Stara Pazova-Belgrade section of the railway. 

($ = 0.824553 euro)

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