MANILA, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Friday a 100-million-U.S.-dollar loan for a highway project in Pakistan, marking its first co-financing with China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB).
In a statement, the Manila-based lending agency said AIIB will extend a 100-million-U.S.-dollar loan subject to its board approval later this month.
The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) has also committed a 34-million-U.S.-dollar grant for the project.
ADB as the lead financier will administer both the AIIB loan and the DFID grant.
"This is a historic milestone for ADB and AIIB as we jointly aim to meet the pressing infrastructure needs in Asia and the Pacific region," said ADB President Takehiko Nakao.
"The project has strategic value to Pakistan as it supports north-south connectivity, new trade, and business opportunities, which will boost jobs and cut poverty."
The project is also an integral part of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) corridors.
ADB and AIIB have been preparing projects for co-financing since last year. A memorandum of understanding for collaboration was signed by Nakao and AIIB President Jin Liqun at the time of ADB's annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany in early May.
ADB said this project will fund the remaining 64-kilometer (km) long four-lane section of the M-4 National Motorway connecting Shorkot and Khanewal in Punjab province.
The project constitutes a key part of a 1,800 km CAREC transport corridor linking the port city of Karachi in the south, to major primary production and population centers including Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad and Peshawar, and on to Torkham on the northern border with Afghanistan.