Wednesday, May 02, 2012 -
Kazakhstan will receive over $1 billion in loans from the World Bank to further finance its mammoth East-West highway project, the World Bank said on Tuesday.
The funds will go towards increasing transport efficiency and safety on the Western Europe-Western China Road Corridor within the Almaty province in southwest Kazakhstan, the World Bank said in a statement.
The funds will also be used to modernize the management of the highways, and improve transportation for 7.9 million of Kazakhstan’s 16 million people.
“The Almaty-Khorgos corridor is the road with the most impact on the regional economy, being a transit link for goods imported from China to Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries, and therefore is essential to accelerating trade flows and economic prospects,” the World Bank country manager for Kazakhstan, Sebnem Akkaya, said in the Tuesday statement.
“The development of transport infrastructure combined with efforts to increase the efficiency of the transport sector is an enabling factor towards the development of the country’s economic competitiveness, increased productivity, and diversification.”
Construction of the highway is slated to be completed by 2015. Kazakhstan aims to expand the highway from two lanes to four lanes, and will draw on its funds to complete this stage of the project.