Xinjiang, an autonomous region in northwest China, will receive a $100 million loan from the Manila-based Asian Development Bank (ADB) to improve its urban road infrastructure, traffic management and environmental sanitation.
The loan is for the $187.2 million Xinjiang urban transport and environmental improvement project which is expected to be completed by June 2014. The city governments of Altay, Changji, Hami, Kuytun and Turpan, which the project benefits, will provide the remaining $87.2 million.
The 25-year loan includes a five-year grace period and will be used to build or upgrade more than 100 kilometres of road, install road safety systems such as traffic signals and to construct sanitation facilities such as public toilets.
The project will create employment opportunities, better urban living standards and enhance the environment in project cities, Raushan Mamatkulov, urban development specialist in ADB’s East Asia department, said in a statement.
Xinjiang has some of China’s highest poverty rates, with its poor urban infrastructure deterring investment in sectors such as tourism. The region shares its borders with Tibet, India, China, Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, providing a gateway between China and Central Asia.
Besides Xinjiang, ADB also aims to invest in the infrastructure of other Asian countries, which it regards as “worse than the average”. In June, the bank teamed up with Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank to launch a pan-Asia Islamic infrastructure fund.
The fund is targeting $500 million and aims to make Shariah-compliant investments in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Malaysia, Maldives, Pakistan, Tajikstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.