MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a $120 million grant to help Tajikistan upgrade a vital road linking the capital Dushanbe with the Uzbekistan border.
The road is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 3 that spans almost 7,000 km from the Russian Federation in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south.
The 62-km highway passes through the Gissar Valley and the town of Tursunzade - two major economic areas in Tajikistan. Gissar Valley has the largest agricultural output in the country, producing cotton, grain, fruits, and vegetables. Tursunzade is home to Central Asia's largest aluminum processing plant as well as light industry.
"Tajikistan depends on this road corridor for investment, job creation, trade and ultimately economic growth and poverty reduction," said Zheng Wu, Transport Specialist at ADB's Central and West Asia Department. The grant will finance road upgrading and improvements to drainage structures and bridges.
The grant will also improve facilities at the Dusti border, which handles about 50,000 vehicles per year, or a quarter of Tajikistan's cross-border vehicles and freight. The project will include connecting the border point to a dependable power source, building modern customs buildings, and installing new information technology, all of which will help increase trade and cut waiting time at the border.
The grant will be sourced from the Asian Development Fund.
CAREC is a partnership of 10 countries--Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the People's Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan--and six multilateral institutions: ADB, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, United Nations Development Program, and World Bank. Together, the CAREC partners work to promote effective regional cooperation in the priority areas of transport, trade, and energy, helping Central Asian and neighboring countries realize their vast economic potential. ADB has served as CAREC Secretariat since 2001.