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World Bank Approves $140 Million Loan For Azerbaijani Highway

The World Bank has provided Azerbaijan with an additional $140 million loan to complete the widening and improvement of the Baku-Shamakhi highway.

The project will help provide better transport to mountainous central and northern regions of Azerbaijan, which have considerable potential for tourism and industrial production, the bank said on March 28.

The project also covers part of the shortest route to the Georgian border, connecting the metropolitan Baku area with major agricultural producers in western Azerbaijan.

“We expect that this project will foster economic activity and tourism in this important region of Azerbaijan," said Larisa Leshchenko, the bank's country manager for Azerbaijan.

The bank said it has had a "successful experience" in financing Azerbaijan's road network in the past. The bank has provided a total of $3 billion in funding for 55 Azerbaijani projects.

Roads are the dominant mode of transportation in the country, accounting for 60 percent of freight and 90 percent of passenger traffic.