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7 Jul 2022

Sarajevo Times

Analysis: The secret Agreement regarding the Chinese Highway in BiH

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07 July 2022

Work on the construction of the highway in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) should begin in mid-July, under the shadow of criticism due to the secrecy of the concession contract concluded with Chinese investors.

The Banja Luka – Prijedor highway, about forty kilometers long and worth about 297 million euros, will be built by the Chinese company “Shandong Hi-Speed ​​International (SDHS)”.

With that company, the Government of BiH entity Republika Srpska (RS) signed a concession agreement in mid-December 2018.

However, despite the insistence of the civil sector and opposition parties that the Entity Government publish the details of the agreed deal with Chinese investors, the contract is still not available for public inspection...

At the beginning of this year, Transparency International (TI) in BiH launched an administrative dispute against the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the RS. [It] decided to take this step after its request to submit a copy of the concession agreement concluded with the Chinese company was rejected. The representative of TI in BiH, Damjan Ozegovic, told Radio Free Europe (RSE) that he expects a court verdict in favor of this organization, given that it is about data that is hidden from citizens despite being of public interest...