Bosnia expects 420 mln Euros from donors

SARAJEVO, Mar 28, 2000 -- (Reuters) Bosnia's Foreign Minister Jadranko Prlic said on Monday his country was expecting to receive some 420 million euros ($407 million) from an international donors' conference this week.

The conference in Brussels on Wednesday groups Western sponsors of the Balkan Stability pact, launched by the European Union and other Western countries in Sarajevo last year.

"We expect investments totaling 420 million euros to be confirmed for the Bosnian economy at this conference," Prlic said.

But these are not new funds, he said, adding that the international lenders like the World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB), would mostly confirm their earlier commitments.

Bosnia and the EIB, for example, last week signed an agreement on the first 60 million of a planned 100 million euros credit aimed at road reconstruction.

The meeting of the Stability Pact, plans to raise the first $1 billion in "quick start" projects for economic recovery in seven countries of the region.

Other Balkan members of the pact are Croatia, Romania, Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Prlic said he did not expect a warm welcome in Brussels because of the slow pace of economic reform in the country and failure to reconstruct the now-defunct central cabinet.

Western donors poured $5.1 billion into Bosnia after the Dayton peace treaty ended the country's 1992-95 war but reforms in key areas, such as the privatization of state assets and restructuring of the financial sector, have been slow.

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