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Kazakhstan upgrades the section of road from Europe to China

By Svitlana  Pyrkalo

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The EBRD is providing US$ 196.5 million to Kazakhstan for reconstruction and upgrading of a 62-km section of the road connecting the city of Shymkent and the Uzbek border.

The project is part of the upgrading of the Western Europe - Western China international transport corridor linking Europe with China. Once completed, this road will become the shortest road transport link from the Central Asian countries to Europe. The whole corridor project is being financed by several IFIs including the EBRD, the World Bank, ADB (Asian Development Bank) and IDB (Islamic Development Bank).

The overall length of the road between the Kazakh city of Shymkent and the border with Uzbekistan is 99 km. The EBRD will finance reconstruction of the 62 km southerly section of this road connecting with the Uzbek border and the remaining 37 km section to the outskirts of the city of Shymkent will be financed by the ADB.

The EBRD loan will be provided to the Government of Kazakhstan. The works will be implemented by the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world, so roads are extremely important for the country. Economy, trade and integration depend on good road links.

“The EBRD has funded a number of transport projects in Kazakhstan to help the country modernize its infrastructure in line with the growing economy. But the road from Shymkent to Uzbek border also has a symbolic and regional meaning. For the last three thousand years merchants from Europe to China travelled through Kazakhstan along the Silk Road. Today, the country aims to modernise the same routes to improve trade and regional integration,” said Thomas Maier, EBRD Managing Director for Infrastructure.

Since the beginning of operations in Kazakhstan, the EBRD has invested US$ 5.9 billion in 158 projects.

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