G20 Summit 2023: What Is The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor?
The corridor aims to provide a a reliable and cost-effective ship-to-rail transit network between Asia, Middle East and Europe.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced the launch of the historic India-Middle East-Europe mega economic corridor.
“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 said
US President Joe Biden called the launch of the India-Middle East 'a real big deal', it'll be a 'game-changing regional investment' and one will be hearing the phrase economic corridor more often in the coming decade.
What Is The Deal?
In a bid to stimulate economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration, India, along with other members of the G20, has entered into a historic memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop an India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor.
The proposed corridor will comprise of two separate corridors, the eastern corridor and the norther corridor. The former will connect India to the Arabian Gulf and the latter will connect the Arabian Gulf to Europe.
Who Are The Members?
Apart from India, the other participants will include Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, Italy, USA and the European Union.
The arrangement will include a railway route 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. This will enable goods and services to transit to, from, and between India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe.
Along the railway track, the members want to lay a cable for energy and digital connectivity, as well as a pipe for clean hydrogen export.
This corridor will safeguard regional supply chains, boost trade accessibility, and enable a greater emphasis on environmental, social, and governance consequences.
It will be designed to increase efficiencies, save costs, promote economic cohesion, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, leading to a radical integration of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
On Saturday, the US Deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer said that the corridor “fills a damaging global gap and enables greater prosperity and better connectivity for key regions around the world”.
Finer added that the project will allow the countries involved to play a key role in the “global connective tissue of commerce, of digital communications, of energy.”
What Are The Timelines For Its Implementation?
As per the MoU, the members intend to meet within the next sixty days to develop and commit to an action plan with relevant timetables.
However, although the memorandum sets forth political commitments of its participants, it does not create any rights or obligations under international law, which means that the members are not necessarily bound by it.