The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Friday approved a USD 1.78 billion multitranche financing facility (MFF) to improve mobility, road safety, and regional trade along the Dhaka–Sylhet trade corridor in Bangladesh.
This corridor will support a new trade route connecting Chattogram port of Bangladesh with states in the northeast of India through land ports of Akhaura, Sheola, and Tamabil, and from there to Bhutan and Myanmar.
The corridor is also the centerpiece of the Bangladesh government’s planned Northeast Bangladesh Economic Corridor, which aims to promote key industries in the area, such as energy generation and production of construction materials, and to better integrate them with the rest of the economy in the country.
The ADB transport specialist for the South Asia Satomi Sakaguchi said that it is the main part of the Road Corridor No. 5 under the South Asia Subregional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) program. Its improvement will reduce logistics costs, increase competitiveness, and help expand regional trade with neighboring South Asian countries.
The SASEC Dhaka–Sylhet Corridor Road Investment Project will be delivered in four tranches. The USD 400 million first tranche will help in widening of about 210 kilometers of National Highway No. 2 from a two-lane to a four-lane road.
The government of Bangladesh will fund USD 911 million of the total project cost of USD 2.69 billion.
By Rajesh Jha