The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved a $125 million loan to finance rehabilitation of a 37-kilometer (km), four-lane section of the 99 km Shymkent-Tashkent road on 5 October 2012. The remaining 62-km section of the road is being funded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. This highway will connect Kazakhstan’s industrial city of Shymkent and Tashkent, the city capital of Uzbekistan. It is also the junction of Corridors 1 and 3 under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program.
As host of various manufacturing industries, Shymkent will benefit from the ADB-funded road section. The flow of commodities to and from the city will increase. Transport networks in South Kazakhstan region will also become more efficient, resulting in lower transport costs, reduced travel time, and improved road safety standards.
Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Transport and Communications will be the executing agency of the road project, and its South Kazakhstan Committee of Roads will be the implementing agency.
The ADB loan will have a 20-year term, including a grace period of 4 years. The Government of Kazakhstan will cofinance the ADB-funded section with $22 million.
Expected to be finished in late 2016, the whole Shymkent-Tashkent road will help promote closer regional cooperation and increased trade along CAREC Corridor 3. This corridor runs from the Russian Federation through Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, to the Middle East and South Asia. It intersects with Corridor 1, which links Europe to the People’s Republic of China and East Asia.