ADB road loan

19 March 2008

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is to loan China US$ 200 million in an effort to help foster sustainable economic development and promote trade in the poorer inland areas of Sichuan province.

The ADB's loan will fund a portion of the Eastern Sichuan Roads Development Project (ESRDP), which has a total estimated cost of US$ 1.43 billion.

The ESRDP will serve the poverty-stricken areas of Sichuan by connecting two growth areas, Chongqing and Xian, and involves construction of a 143 km four-lane toll expressway across mountainous terrain and improvement of 430 km of local roads connecting poor counties and townships.

The project is seen as critical for trade, as movements of goods and passengers by road are rapidly increasing in China. From 1990 to 2005, passenger road traffic rose at an average annual rate of +8.8%, while freight road traffic increased by a yearly average of +6.4%.

In Sichuan during the same period, road passenger traffic grew at an average annual rate of +6.5%, while road freight traffic increased +4.3%.

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