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UK signs agreement to support new motorway construction

ISLAMABAD, 20 JUNE, (DNA) – The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) Monday signed an agreement with the Government of Pakistan for a $34 million grant to build the remaining 64-kilometre section of the motorway (M-4) connecting Shorkot and Khanewal in Punjab province.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will administer the UK’s $34 million grant and the additional $100 million loan by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).

The agreement was signed between Pakistan’s Secretary for Economic Affairs Tariq Bajwa and ADB Country Director for Pakistan Werner E. Liepach, in a ceremony attended by Pakistan’s Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang and the Head of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Joanna Reid.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Head of UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) Joanna Reid said:

“DFID and ADB are supporting the government of Pakistan to create regional connectivity, economic growth and stability in Pakistan. The agreement signed today is an important step in this direction.

“The UK’s collaboration will support Pakistan to improve road safety and to create an environment that will transform roads into economic corridors. This partnership will not only help Pakistan promote and expand trade with regional partners, but also to create more jobs and sustainable livelihoods.

“This partnership is a unique moment, as this will be one of the very first AIIB investments as a new institution. The UK is supporting the Government of Pakistan three times over through this project – as an investor in the ADB, as an investor in the AIIB and through a grant directly from DFID.”

ADB will administer both the DFID grant and the AIIB loan to assist Pakistan to upgrade key sections of primary north-south highways and motorways through its transport sector projects. This project is part of a 1,800 kilometres Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) transport corridor.

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

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