Tajikistan Finance Minister Safarali Najmuddinov (middle of the photo) and the Asian Development Bank’s Tajikistan Country Director Joji Tokeshi (left) signed a $120 million grant on 20 January 2011 to upgrade a 62-kilometer road linking the Tajik capital Dushanbe with the Uzbekistan border at Tursunzade. The grant will also help improve facilities at the Dusti border, which handles about 50,000 vehicles per year, or a quarter of the country’s cross-border vehicles and freight.
The road is part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Corridor 3 that spans almost 7,000 kilometers from the Russian Federation in the north to the Persian Gulf in the south. It passes through the country’s major economic areas of the Gissar Valley, Tajikistan’s largest producer of cotton, grain, fruits, and vegetables, and Tursunzade, home to Central Asia’s largest aluminum processing plant as well as light industry.
“Tajikistan depends on this road corridor for investment, job creation, trade and ultimately economic growth and poverty reduction,” said Zheng Wu, Transport Specialist at ADB’s Central and West Asia Department. “The grant will finance road upgrading and improvements to drainage structures and bridges.”
The entire improvement project will also connect the Dusti border point to a dependable power source, build modern customs buildings, and install new information technology to help increase trade and cut waiting time at the border.
Tajikistan Minister of Transport and Communications Olimjon Boboev was also present at the signing ceremony.