Kazakhstan plans to build highway connecting China and Europe
Kazakhstan, Central Asia's biggest energy producer, plans to build a highway to allow freight from Chinese manufacturers to be driven directly to European markets.
The 8,998-kilometer (5,591 mile) road from China would traverse 3,200 kilometers of Kazakh territory, cross Russia via its Tatarstan republic, and then run to Europe, the Kazakh prime minister's press service said in an e-mailed statement today. Europe is China's biggest export market, ahead of both the US and Japan, analysts said. The highway connecting China and Europe via Kazakhstan would be the shortest land route between the two, the statement said. Kazakhstan has widened 650 kilometers of existing road to handle heavy trucks. It will need to spend about 300 billion Kazakh tenge ($2.34 billion) to widen and strengthen the remaining 2,550 kilometers for the route, the statement said. The World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Islamic Development Bank may join the project, the prime minister's press service said, without giving details. (Bloomberg)
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