The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has agreed to provide US $404m loan to upgrade the intercity travel and cross-border connectivity in Bangladesh. The loan will be used to upgrade the national highway of the country N2 between Sylhet and the Tamabil border crossing.
The upgrade will improve traveller safety and will also reduce the travel times for road users, as well as freight vehicles and buses. The Sylhet-Tamabil road, which is approximately 56.16km, is part of the Dhaka-Narsingdi-Sylhet-Tamabil National Highway corridor that has a total length of 286km.
According to AIIB Investment Operations vice president DJ Pandian, as the first stand-alone transport project supported by AIIB in Bangladesh, the project will allow the Bank to gain experience in cross-border connectivity in South Asia. “At the same time, the project will allow the country to improve sustainability and potentially attract private sector participation and community involvement in road maintenance,” he added.
Construction of the corridor is strategically important for sub-regional connectivity with seven north-eastern states of India, Bhutan, Myanmar as well as China. The funding will also be used for the construction, operation and maintenance of roads; as well as in institutional and project management support.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank with a mission to improve social and economic outcomes in Asia. Headquartered in Beijing, we began operations in January 2016 and have now grown to 102 approved members worldwide. By investing in sustainable infrastructure and other productive sectors in Asia and beyond, we will better connect people, services and markets that over time will impact the lives of billions and build a better future.