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Hungary applies for Chinese loan for Belgrade-Budapest rail overhaul

Author Radomir Ralev
Hungary applies for Chinese loan for Belgrade-Budapest rail overhaul Mihaly Varga; Source: Mihaly Varga Facebook page

BELGRADE (Serbia), June 7 (SeeNews) - Hungary's finance ministry has applied for the extension of a loan by Export-Import Bank of China (Exim Bank) for the overhaul of the Hungarian section of the railway line linking Serbia's capital Belgrade to Budapest, ​finance minister Mihaly Varga said on Friday.

The loan will cover 85% of the project financing, while the remainder will be provided by the Hungarian government, Varga said, as quoted in a statement by the government.

The government aims to simplify the necessary procedures for the execution of the project, which is expected to be completed by 2023, Varga said.

The contract for the modernisation of the Soroksar-Kelebia section of the railway line was signed with the main contractors responsible for the implementation of the project on May 24, he added.

Upgrading the 160 km railway line on a Hungarian territory to a high-speed connection is set to cost about 2.3 billion euro ($2.6 billion), according to Hungarian media reports.

Serbia signed an agreement with Exim Bank for the financing of the overhaul of the Novi Sad-Subotica section of the railway linking Belgrade to Budapest in April. 

In July 2018, Serbia signed a 943 million euro deal with China Railway International (CRI) and China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) for the overhaul of the 108 km-long Novi Sad-Subotica railway section.

($ = 0.8876 euro)