Physical Trade Infrastructure > European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)

Infrastructure and transport policy

A well-developed transport network is essential to supporting economic growth, market development and regional integration. The EBRD fosters transition of the transport sector by financing economically viable infrastructure and transport projects. The Bank’s Transport Operations Policy aims to build efficient, reliable and secure transport systems in six lines of transport business: aviation, ports, railways, road transport, shipping, and logistics.

The EBRD continues to cooperate with the EU on the development of the Trans-European Network corridors and implementation of regional initiatives, such as the REBIS (Regional Balkans Infrastructure Study) initiative in the Western Balkans and the TRACECA (Transport Corridor, Europe-Caucasus-Asia) initiative in Central Asia and the Caucasus.

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Case study – Macedonian deal completes pan-European motorway modernisation

In 2011 the EBRD signed a landmark investment to help modernise FYR Macedonia’s transport system and support its commercial links with other countries in the region. The Bank is providing a €107 million loan to finance the construction of a modern motorway between the Macedonian towns of Demir Kapija and Smokvica in the south-eastern part of the country. The new 28-kilometre section of road is part of the Pan-European Corridor X that runs from Austria to Greece through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and FYR Macedonia. It is one of the two remaining segments of the 1,451 km route that require upgrading to motorway standard. Modernisation works on the other segment, in Serbia, are under way.

With the completion of the new road between Demir Kapija and Smokvica, Corridor X will have four lanes and a hard shoulder along its entire length. For Macedonian citizens and the country’s economy it will mean better and safer transport links, easier and faster access from north to south, but also more favourable conditions for regional trade and integration. In addition to the obvious benefits brought to FYR Macedonia’s population, businesses and economy as a whole, the EBRD investment, which goes hand in hand with continuous policy dialogue, is laying the path for further reform in the Macedonian roads sector.With this project the EBRD and the Macedonian authorities will continue their cooperation for further reorganisation of road maintenance through the implementation of performance-based contracts and introduction of public-private partnerships in the road sector.

The construction of the road in FYR Macedonia is part of the EBRD’s integrated approach to improving transport links in the region. In recent years the Bank has invested a total of €845 million in rail and road infrastructure to modernise various parts of Corridor X in Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, and FYR Macedonia. With project costs exceeding €334 million, the construction of the new road in FYR Macedonia is co-financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the EU’s Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance.

Acquisition and construction of cargo vessels

EBRD’s involvement in shipbuilding has so far concentrated on debt financing for the acquisition and construction of various types of cargo vessels. The Bank will continue to finance deep-sea ship owners, including its existing clients, in their on-going efforts to modernize their fleets.

However, the EBRD will also seek to diversify its portfolio to finance the renewal of other types of vessels, including passenger and river ships. The majority of the shipping fleet (including river vessels) in the region are in imminent need of replacement, and this renewal process is critical for the sector if it is to maintain or improve its competitiveness and eliminate sub-standard vessels in order to improve crew safety and address environmental concerns. All EBRD-financed shipping projects should comply with the standards of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) for safety and protection of the environment, and ships should be operated in open and commercial markets.

The EBRD is intensifying its efforts to develop appropriate structures for projects in the shipbuilding industry. Besides acting as a catalyst in channelling long-term financing to the region, the Bank’s involvement will provide the opportunity to achieve its transition goals. For future operations in the sector, the following transition objectives have been identified: promotion of competitiveness through fleet renewal; promotion of privatization and restructuring; transfer of technical know-how and management skills; promotion of good corporate governance and best business practice; promotion of safety and environmental consciousness; development of an appropriate regulatory and legal framework; and facilitation of regional trade.

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