The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved a US$483.8 million loan to build a 64-kilometer expressway in Myanmar. The road will connect the capital of Bago region and the township of Kyaikto in Mon state, supporting economic development along the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) East–West Economic Corridor.
The project includes a 2.3-kilometre bridge across the Sittaung River. The Japan International Cooperation Agency will finance the New Sittaung Bridge construction with a 27.78 billion Japanese yen (US$265 million) loan.
“The Second GMS Highway Modernization Project will help the government build the four-lane, climate-resilient expressway and help ensure more efficient, safer movement of goods and people along the GMS economic corridor,” says ADB senior transport specialist Shihiru Date. “The project will help strengthen Myanmar’s connectivity with Thailand and other countries along the GMS corridor and promote trade, tourism, and investment, as well as climate resilience and environmental sustainability.”
The government of Myanmar aims to increase investment in transport infrastructure to 3% of gross domestic product by 2030, up from an average of 1% from 2005 to 2018.
The project will help improve the ability of the Ministry of Construction to manage the country’s major toll highways and implement social and environmental safeguards. It will include a new community-based road safety programme for villagers along the Bago–Kyaikto corridor.
Transport has been a key sector of ADB’s support for Myanmar since 2012, with a focus on GMS corridors and rural–urban links, among others.