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EBRD inks US$238 million loan for Uzbekistan road upgrade
The 4R156 route forms part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Corridor 2
Michael Marray 15 May 2024

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has signed a US$238 million loan for the upgrade and expansion of a key transportation route in Uzbekistan.

The sovereign loan will help rehabilitate around 81 kilometres of the 4R156 road in the Khorezm region of western Uzbekistan, and build a bridge across the Amu Darya River.

The strategically important road is part of a transportation network that links the region’s administrative centre, Urgench, with the A380 road to Kazakhstan. It forms part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Corridor 2, which connects the Caucasus and the Mediterranean to East Asia. The route covers Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the People's Republic of China. 

The loan will also help upgrade supporting infrastructure along 4R156. Once complete, the current single-carriageway, category II road will be transformed into a dual-carriageway, category I road. By improving the road’s throughput capacity, the project will stimulate trade and tourism in the Khorezm region.

“We are supporting this project because it meets our strategic objectives for Uzbekistan and Central Asia," says EBRD president Odile Renaud-Basso. "It is also part of the global transport and logistics infrastructure solutions covered by the European Union’s Global Gateway initiative.”

In January 2024, at the Investors Forum for EU-Central Asia Transport Connectivity held in Brussels, the EBRD expressed its readiness to invest around €1.5 billion (US$1.62 billion) in Trans-Caspian Corridor-related infrastructure and associated transport solutions over the next two to three years.

Uzbekistan is the leading recipient of EBRD funding in Central Asia for the fourth year in a row. To date, the bank has invested around €4.42 billion in 151 projects across the country, with most of those funds supporting private entrepreneurship.

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