Pakistan to receive $800 million from ADB for enhancing connectivity, trade

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: In a bid to help Pakistan expand its regional connectivity links while helping to improve road traffic efficiency, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) would give Pakistan an $800 million loan.

In this regard, the ADB’s Board of Directors gave the approval of $800 million multi-tranche financing facility (MFF) to help enhance regional connectivity and trade in the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridors in Pakistan.

Road networks in Sindh, Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be rehabilitated and upgraded with the MFF’s first tranche worth $180 million in 2017 while the second and third tranches worth $260 million and $360 million respectively are expected to be approved in 2019 and 2021.

“Pakistan’s unique geographic location-at the crossroads of Central Asia, the People’s Republic of China, and South Asia-provides a unique potential and opportunity for the country to become a regional transport and trade hub,” said Dong-Soo Pyo, ADB’s Director, Transport and Communications Division, Central and West Asia Department.

“The investment programme will help the government of Pakistan to realize this potential, improving trade and connectivity in the CAREC corridors with the long-term goal of achieving inclusive growth and sustainable development in mind.”

Pakistan’s trade has been centered on sea traffic while transit trade through the country remains limited as poor and costly transport and cross-border infrastructure and services hinder the realization of this untapped potential.

Upgrading the country’s current 263,000 kilometers (km) of road while ensuring transport safety will be critical to the country’s export competitiveness as well as overall economic growth.

The MFF will upgrade and rehabilitate a total of 747 km of road along the CAREC corridor. The investment programme will also focus on strengthening the capacity of the National Highway Authority (NHA) to conduct due diligence work for subsequent tranches as well as to implement each tranche project under the MFF as designed.

Source: APP/DND