The Saudi-backed India-Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) could prove to be a ‘game changer’ for New Delhi, providing unprecedented access to global markets, say experts.
According to Arab News, the IMEC agreement was signed last week by Saudi Arabia, the United States, Europe, India, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany and Italy. This was announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi.
The new 4800 km trade corridor aims to promote economic growth and integration. It involves two distinct trade routes. An Eastern Corridor connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and a Northern Corridor connecting the Gulf States to Europe.
Rail and sea will not only transport goods and other goods but also provide access to electric and digital connectivity.
“This is a real game changer,” Manish Mohan, senior director of international affairs at the Confederation of Indian Industry, told Arab News. It is a historic agreement. The corridor provides alternative trade routes to the Middle East and European markets, but will also give India access to North Africa and North America.
Through this corridor, shipping costs will be reduced and transportation from ship-to-rail transit system will also become faster.He said that this project will benefit not one country but the entire region.Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry President Subharkant Panda said that IMEC will pave the way for trade sector improvement and clean energy and digital opportunities.
He said that this project will play an important role in accelerating economic growth, creating employment opportunities and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It is more than infrastructure.
Subharkant Panda said that it will also be a great opportunity to leverage the business between India and Saudi Arabia.Bilateral relations between Saudi Arabia and India are already strong and have seen warming during India’s presidency of the G20. The new trade corridor will further boost relations with other Gulf allies and top trading partners of the UAE.
India’s trade relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are already constructive and this could strengthen them, says Muhammad Sulaiman, director of strategic technologies at the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC. Besides, it can provide new opportunities for India in terms of trade, energy and infrastructure development.
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