Pakistan and World Bank has signed loan agreement worth over 406 million dollars for Khyber Pass Economic Corridor Project.
Minister for Economic Affairs, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, witnessed the signing ceremony held in Islamabad today.
The project aims to construct 48km long 4-Lane, dual carriageway high-speed access controlled motorway, from Peshawar to Torkham.
The global integration of South and Central Asia is intertwined with the Khyber Pass and has served as the key node in trade for hundreds of years.
The expressway between Peshawar and Kabul through the Khyber Pass represents a section of Corridors 5 and 6 of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation.
Corridor 5, which runs through Pakistan, has the potential to provide the shortest link between the landlocked countries of Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the Arabian Sea.
Corridor 6 provides access to Europe, Middle East and Russia. The KPEC will finance Peshawar-Torkham expressway portion of Corridor-5.
The Peshawar-Torkham expressway will reduce transit time and costs for regional and international trade transiting the Khyber Pass and extend till Karachi – Lahore – Islamabad – Peshawar Trans-Pakistan Expressway System.
It will form as an integral part of the planned Peshawar – Kabul – Dushanbe Motorway.
The improved regional connectivity through this corridor will not only facilitate the commercial traffic and expand economic activities between Pakistan and Afghanistan but also promote private sector development along the corridor. It is expected to generate up to 100,000 new jobs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Minister for Economic Affairs highlighted that signing of this important project indicates resolve of the World Bank to support the development agenda of the present government.
Country Director World Bank Patchamuthu Illangovan while appreciating the reform initiatives of the current government, committed to extend possible facilitation and financial support to the government in its efforts to promote economic activities in the country and to put the economy back on track.