G20 summit: India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor to be launched soon

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New Delhi, September 9 (IANS) An India-Middle East-Europe' economic corridor including shipping and railway links will be launched soon, sources said on Saturday.

The first-of-its-kind economic corridor will be a historic initiative on cooperation, connectivity and infrastructure involving India, UAE, Saudi Arabia, EU, France, Italy, Germany, and the US.

US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the project during the annual Group of 20 summit of the world's top economies.

Modi wrote on X” "Charting a journey of shared aspirations and dreams, the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor promises to be a beacon of cooperation, innovation, and shared progress. As history unfolds, may this corridor be a testament to human endeavour and unity across continents."

The project is part of an initiative called the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII).

Ursula von der Leyen at the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII) and India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor programme at Bharat Mandapam said: "Since we launched the PGII, a joint vision by the world leaders, leading economies, to invest in the infrastructure that low and middle income countries need. And two years on more large-scale projects are seeing the light. And we are presenting two of them today.

“First, the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor. Thi is nothing but historic. This will be more direct connection to date between India, the Arabian Gulf and Europe with a rail link that will make trade between India and Europe 40 per cent faster."

She also said that with an electricity cable and clean hydrogen pipeline to foster clean energy trade between Asia, Middle East and Europe.

"With the high speed data cable to link some of the most innovative digital ecosystems in the world and create business opportunities all along the way. These are state of the art connections for the world of tomorrow faster, shorter, cleaner. This corridor is much more than just a railway or cable. It is a green and digital reach across continents and civilisations," she said.

Meanwhile, Biden said, "This is a real big deal. I want to thank the Prime Minister. One Earth, One Family, One Future that's the focus of this G20 Summit. And in many ways, it's also the focus of this partnership that we are talking about today."

He said: "Building sustainable, resilient infrastructure, making quality infrastructure investments and creating a better future... Last year, we came together as one to commit to this vision. And this afternoon I want to highlight the key ways in which the United States and our partners are working to make this a reality."

"Economic corridor. You're going to hear that phrase more than once, I expect, over the next decade. As we work to address infrastructure gaps across low-middle-income countries, we need to maximize the impact of our investments. That's why a few months ago announced that the United States will work with our partners to invest in economic corridors," the US President said.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said: "When we launched the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) just over a year ago, we committed to building better infrastructure for a better future in low and middle-income nations."

She said that we committed to cooperate with these nations with an equal...to create new opportunities and prosperity.

"Today is the launch of the new economic corridor between India and the Middle East and Europe goes precisely in this direction and is a milestone in strengthening global interconnections. And that is why I want to thank Prime Minister Modi, President Biden, and all the others, Ursula von Derleyan, and all the others who made it possible..."

The development comes amid the ongoing G20 summit which, in a major diplomatic breakthrough for India, agreed on a joint declaration.