Saudi Arabian money for Tajikistan’s Dushanbe-Kulyab-Khorog-Murgab highway

Saudi Arabia will provide US$108 million through the Islamic Development Bank for reconstruction of two sections of the Dushanbe-Kulyab-Khorog-Murgab highway in Tajikistan. The sections are the Kulyab-Shuroabad and Shkev-Kalai Khumb, according to the Avesta news agency. The deal was announced after a meeting between Saudi ministry of finance officials and Tajik president Emomali Rahmon in the Saudi capital Riyadh in early January. Rahmon’s visit is considered a success for Tajik’s infrastructure in
Finance & Funding / January 18, 2016

Saudi Arabia will provide US$108 million through the Islamic Development Bank for reconstruction of two sections of the Dushanbe-Kulyab-Khorog-Murgab highway in Tajikistan.

The sections are the Kulyab-Shuroabad and Shkev-Kalai Khumb, according to the Avesta news agency.

The deal was announced after a meeting between Saudi ministry of finance officials and Tajik president Emomali Rahmon in the Saudi capital Riyadh in early January.

Rahmon’s visit is considered a success for Tajik’s infrastructure investment programme towards which Saudi Arabia had given only $84 million in the past 13 years. Tajikistan has three main routes to the outside world – through China, Kyrgyzstan and Afghanistan, all countries with which Tajikistan shares a common border.

Road infrastructure is taking on an increasingly important economic importance for the former Soviet republic whose eastern frontier lies with China. At the moment, 37% of Tajikistan’s exports are destined for Turkey and only 11% set for China, according to data from the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a data analyst organisation at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. However, 45% of Tajikistan’s imports arrive from China, with Russia accounting for 18% and Kazakhstan 14%.

Tajikistan recognises that its poor infrastructure means the land-locked country has “communication deadlock”, something which must be overcome as soon as possible, as noted in a 2010 annual address by the president.

To do this, the Tajik Ministry of Foreign affairs laid out “a programme of rehabilitation and reconstruction of these roads until 2025 has been developed”.  More than 4,000km of roads and 576 bridges should be renovated or constructed, costing around $600 million at today’s official exchange rates.