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Slovenian Builder Gets Motorway Contract in Bosnia

Banja Luka, 29 August (STA) - Slovenian builder Cestno podjetje Maribor (CPM) signed on Sunday a contract giving it concession rights in the construction of a part of the motorway between Banja Luka and Doboj in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Belgrade-based news agency Beta reported.

The government of Republika Srpska, the Serb entity in Bosnia, gave the deal to CPM after a failed attempt at cooperation with Austria's Strabag.

The agreement was signed in Banja Luka today by CPM head Janez Skoberne, Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik, Republika Srpska Transport Minister Nedeljko Cubrilovic and the acting director of motorway company Mreza autoputeva Ibrahim Medic.

Work is expected to begin at the end of September or the start of October, with CPM having to secure at least EUR 300m.

According to the Bosnian press agency Fena, Cubrilobic said CMP had been "the most concrete and most objective" partner in terms of putting forward an initiative. He added that the decision against a public tender was made to avoid losing time.

Skoberne, who labelled the deal as a business secret whose details remain to be worked out, on the other hand thanked the Slovenian government for supporting deals of Slovenian construction companies abroad.

The news comes a month after a visit to Republika Srpska by Prime Minister Borut Pahor. Pahor said following the meeting that agreement had been reached on strengthening economic cooperation and that the decision of Republika Srpska for important infrastructure projects was significant in this respect.

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