Serbia owes China more than 8 billion Dollars, report says

Tanjug/Srđan Ilić

Serbia has to pay China more than eight billion Dollars over the next 20-25 years according to a study on Chinese investments in Europe.

The portal quoted the findings in a report by the Central and Eastern European Center for Asian Studies (CEECAS) which said that the Chinese presence in Serbia in terms of infrastructure projects stands at 9.7 billion Euro but added that these are not foreign direct investments (FDI). Serbia is followed by Hungary with 5.4 billion, Romania with 2.8 billion and Bosnia-Herzegovina with 1.9 billion.

The Chinese Investment in Central and Eastern Europe report showed that Serbia will have to pay more than eight billion Dollars over the next two decades just to service the loans it took from Chinese banks to finance the infrastructure projects being built by Chinese companies.

Report co-author Stefan Vladisavljev from the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence told that the level of Serbia’s debt is indisputable. He said that he had insight into contracts and projects to get to the total amount of debt. “The data base stops with December 2020 which means that the ring rounds at Loznica and Milanovac and the Golubac-Pozarevac roads will only increase it,” he said and warned that these are long-term debts to Chinese banks.

The Serbian authorities under President Aleksandar Vucic have invested significant effort to attract Chinese companies to the country to build roads and upgrade railway networks as well as invest in large-scale projects as the Zijin company did with the copper mine complex in the town of Bor and HBIS did with the steel plant in Smederevo.