India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor sealed at G20 Summit

NEW DELHI: During a session at the G20 Leaders' summit in Delhi Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alongside European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, United States President Joe Biden, and Saudi Arabia's Mohammed Bin Salman announced an economic corridor connecting Europe with the Middle East and India through a combination of rail and sea routes.

The corridor which would be akin to the Silk Route or the spice route of the olden periods, aims to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative, which includes the United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the EU with two separate corridors - East Corridor which connects India to West Asia and a North Corridor that connects West Asia to Europe.

Announcing the corridor, PM Modi said, "Today we all have reached an important and historic partnership. In the coming times, it will be a major medium of economic integration between India, West Asia and Europe." 

He further added that the corridor would give a new direction to connectivity and sustainable development of the entire world and would serve as "a beacon of cooperation, innovation, and shared progress.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has prepared a document on the corridor calling the project 'a green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations' according to the document prepared the corridor will include a rail link as well as an electricity cable, a hydrogen pipeline and a high-speed data cable.

Calling the project a 'game-changing investment,' US President Joe Biden called the launch of the India-Middle East as 'a big deal' saying said one is going to hear the phrase economic corridor more often in the coming decade.

Upon completion, the corridor will provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement existing maritime and road transport routes and will enable goods and services to transit to, from, and between India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe. 

Apart from the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor, additionally, a US-supported proposal to expedite land-trade routes between Gulf Arab countries and the Mediterranean Sea has also been discussed among Israel and Gulf nations.

The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he was very happy with the said project and said that his country looks forward to the integration of the initiative and the Economic Corridor project which is announced in this meeting. "I would like to thank those who worked with us to reach this founding step to establish this important economic corridor," he said. 


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