The European Investment Bank (EIB) lends EUR 60 million to the Republic of Croatia for the rehabilitation of 687 km of the Croatian national road network divided to 52 sections across the country.
The loan will contribute to the implementation of the Croatian Programme for the Construction and Maintenance of Public Roads for the period of 2005-2008. Croatia is an important transit country for passenger and goods and an adequate transport infrastructure will help the country better integrate with the European Union's Single Market. In addition, it will increase the transport safety and capacity needed to face successfully the increasing number of vehicles since the recent years.
The project is focused on the modernisation and maintenance of roads along major Croatian transport arteries with positive implications for the development of the tourism industry being one of the most significant sectors for the country's economic development.
The state owned Croatian Roads Ltd. (CR), is the project's promoter as well as the borrower and the final beneficiary of the loan. The current loan is a continuation of a successful cooperation of the Bank with this company. In 2001, the EIB provided a loan of EUR 60 million to the CR for co-financing the rehabilitation of the national road network and in July 2005 the Bank signed with the CR another loan of EUR 60 million for the construction of the bypass road of the city of Split.
The European Investment Bank, the European Union's financing institution, supports through its lending operations in Croatia projects that help the country to meet EU accession criteria and to integrate rapidly into the Union. Since 2001, EIB lending in Croatia has exceeded EUR 900 million. The EIB lending has been focused on the construction and rehabilitation of the country's infrastructure, especially transport infrastructure, which has absorbed some 60 % of total EIB lending in Croatia. The completion of the Rijeka-Zagreb motorway, the construction of the motorway section Zupanja-Lipovac and the Split by-pass represent the major projects financed by the EIB in this concern.
In addition, the Bank in Croatia finances investments of small and medium-sized companies through local financial institutions, and lends support to projects in the areas of industry and services. In the near future the Bank envisages extending its operations to the environmental, health and education sectors. This implies a growing number of loans to the private sector and municipalities to support investment.