Uzbekistan is set to receive a loan of $165.5m to improve road infrastructure in the Bukhara region.

The loan amount, approved by the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, will be used to advance the Bukhara Road Network Improvement Project.

Phase I of the project involves renovating a 78km section of the international road A380 in the region.

Once complete, the project will improve road safety and reduce travel time, directly benefiting around 247,000 people living in the region.

AIIB Investment Operations vice-president Konstantin Limitovskiy said: “This project is of regional importance and well-aligned with AIIB’s strategic priority of promoting cross-border connectivity to unlock greater productivity and higher economic growth.

“As our first standalone transport project in Uzbekistan, the financing will help enhance the country’s transport infrastructure and strengthen key international transport corridors across the Eurasian landmass.”

The AIIB funding will also support the next phase of the Bukhara Road Network Improvement Project, where some sections of the M37 road around the Bukhara region will be rehabilitated.

In addition, several regional and local road networks in the Republic of Karakalpakstan and Khorezm regions will be upgraded.

The road network serves as an important mode of transport in landlocked Uzbekistan, facilitating trade with other Central Asian countries.

The government has also recognised the modernisation of road transport as a priority development area.

Earlier this year, AIIB decided to provide a $404m loan to Bangladesh for cross-border connectivity improvement works.