The World Bank has approved a USD 200 million loan to Serbia to support its budget, Serbian Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said Nov. 17. It is the first installment of the 400-million-dollar loan agreed at a meeting with the World Bank's vice president for Europe and Central Asia, Philippe Le Houerou in October, Dinkic was quoted as saying by Tanjug news agency. The remaining USD 200 million were aimed at supporting the 2010 budget, Dinkic said. The World Bank representative in Serbia Simon Gray earlier said the loan was aimed at reducing public administration and improvement of the business climate in Serbia, Tanjug reported. Serbia has been severely hit by the global economic crisis and the IMF said in September its economy would shrink by 4.0 percent in 2009. (AFP)

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