Friday, June 20, 2014

World Bank funds road links for India, Myanmar, Bangladesh
Photo: Asia Briefing
June 19, 2014: The World Bank has approved $107 million in funding for a much-awaited project to improve roads connecting India, Myanmar and Bangladesh, Press Trust of India reported Thursday.

World Bank Country Director Onno Ruhl said, "Our Board has recently approved the road project in Mizoram, which will connect the state with Myanmar and Bangladesh."

The project will be financed by a credit from the International Development Association, the World Bank's concessionary lending arm that provides interest-free, 25-year loans with a five-year grace period.

The project will cover 91 kilometers of road widening and strengthening, including a 22-km section on the border with Bangladesh, a 27.5-km section on the border with Myanmar and 41.7 km connecting to border roads with Bangladesh to the west and Myanmar to the south.

Linkage with Bangladesh will facilitate bilateral trade and improve accessibility to Chittagong port, the nearest shipping port for the northeast.

Another 330 km of road works may be considered for a future project.

According to World Bank estimates, annual intra-regional trade in the area will increase from $16 billion to around $38 billion if the barriers were removed among the neighboring countries.

Another estimate suggests that investment in transport infrastructure could reduce trade costs by more than 20 percent in India and 12.5 percent in Bangladesh.

Courtesy: Global Post
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