$100m CAREC motorway becomes first ADB-AIIB co-financed project

 CAREC motorway: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) yesterday agreed to lend Pakistan  $100m to complete the remaining 64km section of the M4 motorway linking the towns of Shorkot and Khanewal in the province of Punjab, giving it the distinction of being the first project to be co-financed by the ADB and the newly established Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
 Pakistan’s Secretary for Economic Affairs Tariq Bajwa and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Werner E. Liepach signed the loan agreement during a ceremony  which was also attended by Finance Minister Senator 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,”  ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang at the signing.
The project marks ADB’s first co-financing  agreement with the AIIB which  is expected to approve the $100m at a board meeting  later this month. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has also committed a $34m grant for the project. ADB will administer both the AIIB loan and the DFID grant. The project is part of the 1,800 km CAREC transport corridor linking the port city of Karachi in the south, to country’s inland urban centres and onward to Afghanistan and the Central Asia countries.