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ADB Offers US$300 Mln Loan to Improve Transport in NW China

A US$300 million loan from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help develop an efficient, safe, and reliable road transport system in the southern part of Gansu Province in northwestern China.


"The road transport network in southern Gansu needs to be improved to improve access to essential services and to link this poor, isolated region to economic growth centers," says Xiaohong Yang, an ADB Senior Financial Analysis Specialist.


A 134-kilometer expressway will be built from Wudu to Guanzigou, 200 town bus stations built and 357 km of connecting rural roads upgraded. A pilot-test will be carried out for a road transport action plan in Longnan, and training and consulting services provided to boost the capacity of local transport authorities.


The expressway will benefit about 4.6 million people by reducing travel time between Wudu and Guanzigou by 136 km or 5-7 hours, and better roads in the countryside will allow rural households to access more economic and social services, said the ADB.


ADB officials said the project fits the Chinese government's Western Region Development Strategy, which aims to improve the investment environment and living conditions in the area.


According to the ADB, the total cost of the project is estimated at US$1.66 billion, with the ADB loan accounting for 18 percent of the total cost and the rest drawn from domestic resources.


The Gansu Provincial Communications Department is responsible for the project, which is scheduled for completion in 2011, said the ADB.


(Xinhua News Agency December 21, 2006)

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