December 10, 2007
Eight countries have signed an agreement to spend $18.7 billion on roads and railways linking central Asia to China and Europe.
Masterminding the megaproject is SMEC, an Australian consulting engineering firm, while China’s Sinohydro handles construction, Financial Times reports. Beijing is expected to provide the bulk of the financing, since almost a third of the investment is expected to take place on Chinese soil. A portion of funding is also expected to come from multilateral development banks (MDBs) such as the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and the World Bank.