The Asian Development Bank will fund the upgrade of a 180km road network in Bhutan to boost its trading opportunities with neighbouring countries.

The $38.76m grant will be used to build and repair five sections of an east-to-west highway in the south of the country.

The project will provide an alternate transit route for freight and passengers, opening up new trading opportunities with India.

The bank will also provide equipment for road design, measuring load levels and vehicle emissions to reduce overloading, pollution and to enhance road safety.

The grant will support 71% of the total road upgrade project, co-funded by the Bhutan Government.