World Bank funds Azerbaijan highway

By Steve Skinner27 May 2010

The World Bank has approved US$ 242 million in loans for construction of Azerbaijan's Third Highway project.

A US$ 70 million international development association (IDA) credit and a US$ 172 million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan will be used to finance the project that involves upgrading a 100 km section of the M4 highway linking Baku with Shamakhi from two to four lanes .

A statement from The World Bank said the project will help provide better transport services in mountainous central and northern regions of Azerbaijan, which have potential for tourism and industrial production. The section of road is also part of the shortest route to the Georgian border and connects Baku with the major agricultural producers in the west of the country.

Leader of the World Bank team involved with the project, Jacques Bure said, "We are pleased that this project is going to put Shamakhi and its region about one hour away from Baku. The project will be a real upgrade and a boost to the region and the country at large.

"Azerbaijan needs some 1000 km of motorway to benefit its economy and we are looking forward with our counterparts to put together the strategy and financing for this expansion," he said.

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