China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is set to start work on a 31km section of a motorway between the central Serbian towns of Preljina and Pozega.

In November last year, the Government of Serbia awarded a $504.2m (€450m) contract to CRBC for construction of the Preljina-Pozega motorway section.

The motorway will form part of a strategic corridor between Bari in Italy and Bucharest via Belgrade.

Construction of the project is due to start next month and scheduled to be completed over the next two years.

The scheme is part of a $10.08bn (€9bn) infrastructure project in progress in Serbia and was announced in September 2018.

Separately, the Chinese company has also expressed an interest to bid for the Fruskogorski Corridor road project in northern Serbia, according to Du Fei, the company’s general manager.

“This will be a €400m project to upgrade the IB-21 route through the Vojvodina region.”

This will be a €400m project to upgrade the IB-21 route through the Vojvodina region.

Once complete, Fruskogorski Corridor will connect pan-European transport corridors X and IV on the territory of Serbia’s northern autonomous region of Vojvodina.

A €600m project to modernise the railway connecting Belgrade to Nis and its extension to Presevo on the North Macedonian border has been awarded to a Chinese firm.

In a press statement, Serbia infrastructure minister Zorana Mihajlovic said: “In the shortest time, we will also start preparing the technical documentation for the construction of the line to the border. Connecting the region is good for Serbia and its citizens.”

In July last year, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Serbia and China to modernise the railway. This was during the seventh summit of heads of government of China and Central and Eastern European countries.