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From Staff Reports
Seven countries are working together to build a modern day ‘Silk Road’ that will run through Asia to the Middle East and Europe. The Financial Times reported that the parties involved are in the early stages of planning the $19 billion project. The plan is expected to receive formal endorsement in November.
A chain of road and rail services will be the backbone of the vast transportation network. All in all, there will be six corridors stretching from China to Turkey in the south and to Russia in the north. China will see nearly a third of the investment on its soil, which will no doubt require funding from Beijing. Kazakhstan will also factor in as a major participant, as it tries to establish itself as a major traffic hub for the surrounding regions.
While arrangements have not been finalized, close to half of the money will be covered by loans from the Asian Development Bank and other corporate financiers. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank will all participate.
The road and rail investments agreed to by Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are expected to begin next year, and should be completed by 2018.