An ECCI-METAG joint venture has secured a $477m four-year project from the Asian Development Bank to rehabilitate and construct a 233km stretch of road from Qaisar to Laman in Afghanistan.

The highway will connect the towns of Qaisar-Bala Murghab-Laman in north west Afghanistan, completing a 2,700km ring road, which when completed will connect all the country’s major cities.

ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Juan Miranda said: "This investment into the last section of the Ring Road will foster greater regional cooperation, linking Afghanistan with itself and with Central Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East. This road makes Afghanistan a transit rather than a cushion country, and will create jobs, improve trade, and bring greater security."

Upon completion, the ring road will expand economic ties among Central and South Asia and the Middle East, as well as improve security, economic development and trade.

ECCI vice-president and CEO Manjiv Vohra added: "ECC and METAG are excited to help the Afghanistan Ministry of Public Works and Asian Development Bank realise the vision of a continuous ring road linking Afghanistan’s major regions. We are proud to be a part of this very significant and historic project for the advancement and development of the region’s economy."

Last year, the Asian Development Bank had provided a $353.5m grant to the country, out of which $340m was assigned for the rehabilitation of Afghanistan’s shattered road and energy infrastructure.

Following the extension of the grant, the Minister of Finance of Afghanistan Omar Zakhilwal said the additional funding will not only help strengthen Afghanistan’s transportation network but also help to unite the country.

The funding has been given on top of a $450m grant ADB has already committed to the ring road expansion, with ADB’s total assistance to Afghanistan’s infrastructure coming to more than $1.07bn.

METAG Insaat Ticaret is a Turkey based engineering and construction group, while ECC International Constructors is a US-based construction company.