Serbian Prime Minister, Ana Brnabic has stated that the construction of the so-called Motorway of Pis (Nis-Pristina-Tirana-Durres) will finally start in 2019 and that the first segment to be completed will be Nis-Plocnik.
Once this stage is completed, the commuting time to Prokuplje and Kursumlija will be significantly shortened which would also attract investors due to improved transportation links to this part of Serbia.
Brnabic and the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunications, Rasim Ljajic visited the Simpo Sik factory in Kursumlija and the Special Rehabilitation Hospital Zubor in Kursumlijska Banja on Friday.
Brnabic noted that the two biggest tasks of the Government of Serbia regarding Kursumlija were to have the Nis-Plocnik motorway section built and to have the Law on Public Property amended, so that Kursumlijska Banja (Kursumlijska Spas) could be privatized.
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She also said that tourism was one of the fastest growing sectors in Serbia, especially spa tourism, where 253,000 overnight stays were recorded in the first six months of 2018, and that the majority of the tourists came from Serbia, although there was an increasing number of foreigners as well.
The prime minister pointed out that, with its three spas, along with the Devil’s Town and the Radan Mountain, Kursumlija had a great potential for tourism.
Rasim Ljajic said that amending the law and having the Property Directorate evaluate the spas in Serbia were being carried out simultaneously.
“We hope that this job will be completed by the end of the year so that we can launch new public calls for privatization of spas in Serbia beginning with early 2019 and to finally have the process brought to a closure, as spa tourism is a huge resource for Serbia’ overall tourism and economy”, the minister said.
The Nis-Merdare-Pristina-Tirana-Durres motorway, which will connect Serbia and the Corridor 10 with the Albanian Port of Durres, will be 384 kilometers long, with the length of the Nis-Merdare section will be 77 kilometers.
In February this year, the head of the European Investment Bank (EIB) regional representation for the Western Balkans, Dubravka Negre, stated that she expected the financing for the first section, from Nis to Plocnik, to be approved in the second half of the year.
Negre said that the value of the works in the first phase (the Nis-Plocnik section) was around EUR 240 million and that it was expected for Serbia to get at least 20% of the amount in grants, whereas the rest would be financed from the proceeds of the loans from the EIB and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).