A highway linking Mongolia to neighboring Russia and the People's Republic of China is bringing development, jobs, and social services to the country's remote western regions.
Connecting Ulaanbayshint on the Mongolia-Russia border to Yarant on the Mongolia-PRC border, the western regional road is built under the umbrella of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program.
Western Mongolia. A remote area with poor infrastructure connecting it to the rest of the country and its neighbors.
Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy here. A wool processing company in Bayan-Ulgi province produces 90% of Mongolia's wool exports to Europe.
SOT: D. Dorjderem
Chief Executive Officer
"Avatexkainar Noos" Co. Ltd
"Our next aim is to start exporting to PRC. In doing so, the transport issue is very important. Cars end up breaking down on the way to PRC."
Safe, reliable roads are badly needed to develop this part of the country.
Now things are about to change with the construction of a highway. Once completed, the western regional road will connect Ulaanbayshint on the Mongolia-Russia border and Yarart on the Mongolia-PRC border.
The Asian Development Bank, along with other partners, is financing the project, which also involves the construction of 34.9 kilometers of local roads. Giving greater access to markets and social services to a large population.
SOT: N. Baasanjav
Must soum, Khovd province
"When I first heard about a road construction here, I couldn't believe it. We have tough conditions here including long canyons and rock formations. Now I see that the road is indeed of excellent quality, and provides quick and safe transportation through many kilometers of canyon, rivers, and rocks."
With two thirds of the road already built, traffic is already increasing at Yarant border crossing in Khovd Province.
SOT: D. Nyamaa
Khovd Province Administration
"This highway connecting to Russia and PRC plays a very important role for tourism, trade, and economic development. We are expecting an increase in tourists coming from Europe through Russia."
With an international transit corridor bringing development, jobs, access to health, education, and other social services, the future looks brighter for western Mongolians.