ISLAMABAD, Jun 20 (APP): The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the
Government of Pakistan here Monday signed an agreement for a $100 million loan to build the remaining 64-kilometer section of the motorway (M-4) connecting Shorkot and Khanewal in Punjab province.

Tariq Bajwa, Secretary for Economic Affairs Division (EAD) and ADB’s
Country Director for Pakistan Werner E. Liepach signed the loan agreement during a ceremony also attended by Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar and ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang.

“Pakistan must grasp the opportunities presented by its strategic
location.Investments in transport and connectivity under the framework of Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) programmes, as well as other regional cooperation initiatives, can put Pakistan’s economic development on an upward trajectory,” said ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang.

The project marked ADB’s first cofinancing with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

AIIB will provide a $100 million loan subject to its board approval later this month.

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has also committed a $34 million grant for the project.

ADB would administer both the AIIB loan and the DFID grant.

The ADB through its transport sector projects is assisting Pakistan to
upgrade key sections of primary north-south highways and motorways.

This project was part of a 1,800 km CAREC transport corridor linking
the port city of Karachi in the south, to country’s inland urban centers and onward to Afghanistan and the Central Asia countries.

Once completed, the transport project would help substantially cut
travel time between Karachi and Peshawar and link up Pakistan with the Central Asia countries boosting regional trade and commerce.

The ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and
the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration.

Established in 1966, ADB in December 2016 will mark 50 years of development partnership in the region.

It is owned by 67 members-48 from the region. In 2015, ADB assistance totaled $27.2 billion, including cofinancing of $10.7 billion.