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Dec 19, 2017 16:40 EEST
December 19 (SeeNews) - The International Finance Corporation (IFC) said on Tuesday it is lending 7.5 million euro ($8.9 million) and mobilising a 7.5 million euro parallel loan from Erste Bank to finance a ring road section in Montenegro's capital Podgorica.
The loan to Podgorica city government will finance the construction of the 3.5-km southwestern section of the ring road, which includes the Moraca bridge, the IFC said in a statement.
"Having IFC as a long-term partner enables us to continue working on the development of this vital road infrastructure, which is helping to reduce congestion, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce vehicle operating costs," Podgorica mayor Slavoljub Stijepovic said in the statement.
The funding complements two previous IFC investments in the ring road - a loan of 10.1 million euro to build the eastern portion in 2010, and 10.7 million euro in 2012 to construct the Ribnica bridge.
"IFC has a strong partnership with the city of Podgorica, as this third investment highlights, and we hope to expand our support to other parts of Montenegro," IFC Regional Manager for Central and South East Europe, Thomas Lubeck. said. "The financing we provide to Podgorica reflects our strong commitment to improving municipal infrastructure for a better quality of life for citizens."
Road projects have been recognised as a priority for Montenegro, to eliminate a critical bottleneck for regional transport along the corridor connecting Serbia to the Adriatic coast and support the tourism industry, which is critical to the country's economy. IFC also said its engagement has already assisted in reducing the travel time along the eastern side of the ring road from 12.5 minutes to 7.5 minutes.
($ = 0.845456 euro)
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