MANILA, Nov 20: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a loan package worth 301.2 million dollars to improve road connections from Pakistan's Afghan border to the southern ports of Karachi, it said on Saturday.
The project will improve access to the ports and the Pakistani market for landlocked Afghanistan and the republics of Central Asia, the ADB said in a statement from its headquarters here.
"With stability returning to Afghanistan and growing bilateral trade with Pakistan, the road corridor to be improved under the project will bring significant opportunities for North West Frontier Province," ADB transport specialist Hasan Masood was quoted as saying.
The project will upgrade 212 kilometres of provincial highways and about 700 kilometres of rural access roads.
About 310 kilometres of national highways, including new access to Afghanistan, and infrastructure at two border points will be built or improved.
The ADB noted that the closest ports to Afghanistan and most of the Central Asian republics are the existing facilities in Karachi and the port under construction at nearby Gwadar. Most traffic from the region uses the national highways to access the ports.-AFP