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ADB approves $240m to help Kazakhstan modernize transport, improve connectivity

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a $240.3 million loan to help Kazakhstan modernize its transport system. Improved transport connectivity will help increase trade links between Kazakhstan and the markets in East Asia, the Caspian Sea region, and further to Europe, the bank said in a statement.

Improved connectivity and mobility will play a catalytic role in the sustainable social and economic development of the country, open new opportunities for trade and investment, and support poverty reduction by raising local living standards, said Zheng Wu, a Senior Transport Specialist with ADB's Central and West Asia Regional Department.

The project will reconstruct and upgrade about 299 km of a deteriorated section of the Aktobe�Makat road in the western part of the country, and introduce a modern transport information system to increase road traffic safety and logistics effectiveness. It will also establish fast transportation links connecting Astana and Aktobe with the major oil and mineral�rich city of Atyrau, and the country's only international commercial seaport in Aktau.

The road is part of the Trans-Caspian Sea Transit Corridor Baku�Astrakhan�Atyrau�Aktobe�Aktau�Turkmen border, which connects Kazakhstan with Azerbaijan and Europe in the West, with the Russian Federation in the North, and with Turkmenistan in the South. It also links to the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 1b at Aktobe and Corridor 6a at Makat, providing further access to the People's Republic of China and Southeast Asia.