Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden on Saturday announced the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) and co-chaired a special event on Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) on the sidelines of the ongoing G20 summit.
IMEC aims at unlocking greater investment for infrastructure development and strengthening connectivity in its various dimensions between India, Middle East and Europe. "The IMEC comprises of an Eastern Corridor connecting India to the Gulf region and a Northern Corridor connecting the Gulf region to Europe. It will include a railway and ship-rail transit network and road transport routes," said a release from the PMO. A memorandum of understanding on IMEC was signed by India, USA, Saudi Arabia, UAE, European Union, Italy, France and Germany, it added.
Leaders of the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Mauritius, UAE, and Saudi Arabia, and the World Bank, participated in the event. Leading the talks on PGII Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "India has given top priority to infrastructure in its growth journey. Along with physical infrastructure, India is investing in social, digital and financial infrastructure on an unprecedented scale. Through this, we are laying the strong foundations of developed Bharat."
"As a trusted partner, we have implemented infrastructure projects in many countries of the global south in the fields of energy, railway, and water. In these initiatives, we have focused on a demand-driven and transparent approach. Through PGII, we can contribute significantly in narrowing the infrastructure gap in the global south. India does not limit connectivity within regional boundaries. Enhancing connectivity with all regions is the main priority of Bharat. We believe connectivity does not only boost business ties but also builds trusts," Modi said.
Calling India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor a big initiative, US President Joe Biden said, "Today, I am proud to announce that we have finalized the historic agreement for a new India Middle East Europe Economic corridor. As a part of the corridor, we are going to invest in ships and rail which extends from India all the way to Europe connected by the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Israel." "Pursuant to this Memorandum of Understanding, the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the European Union, the Republic of India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Italian Republic, and the United States of America (the "Participants") commit to work together to establish the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). The IMEC is expected to stimulate economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf, and Europe," a white house release said.
"The IMEC will be comprised of two separate corridors, the east corridor connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and the northern corridor connecting the Arabian Gulf to Europe. It will include a railway that, upon completion, will provide a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement existing maritime and road transport routes – enabling goods and services to transit to, from, and between India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe," the White House release said.
"Along the railway route, participants intend to enable the laying of cable for electricity and digital connectivity, as well as pipe for clean hydrogen export. This corridor will secure regional supply chains, increase trade accessibility, improve trade facilitation, and support an increased emphasis on environmental, social, and government impacts," it added.