The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is to work alongside the Governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Member States of the European Union, the Republic of India and the United States on the new India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). The announcement was made in the presence of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the sidelines of the 18th G20 Heads of State and Government Summit held in New Delhi, India.
The establishment of the corridor aims to significantly improve connectivity and integration between participating countries and will be comprised of two different pathways – the east corridor connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and the northern corridor connecting the Arabian Gulf to Europe. The aim is that cross-border ship-to-rail transit corridors will reduce shipping costs across the network and facilitate trade in goods and services to, from, and between the UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and Europe.
The partners intend to work with the private sector to connect India to Europe by a railway line and through existing ports in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The new railway aims to supplement existing maritime and road transport routes, while it is also proposed to invest in port infrastructure along the routes, to provide the necessary capacity to handle increased trade.
Along the railway route, participants intend to enable the laying of cable for electricity and digital connectivity, as well as pipelines for clean hydrogen exports. This corridor will, according to the MOU that was signed, “secure regional supply chains, increase trade accessibility, improve trade facilitation, and support an increased emphasis on environmental social, and government impacts.” The next stage is that the participants will meet to take forward the design and implementation of the new transit network.