Skip to content Skip to Search
Skip navigation

India-Middle East-Europe transport link announced

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the G20 summit in New Delhi Reuters/Evelyn Hockstein
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shake hands at the G20 summit in New Delhi
  • Imec deal to integrate rail and ports
  • Route from India to Europe through Gulf
  • Biden hails ‘endless opportunities’

World leaders have announced a shipping and rail transportation corridor linking countries across the Middle East, South Asia and Europe at the G20 summit in New Dehli, India, on Saturday.

The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec) aims to integrate railway routes and link ports along a route spanning from India to Europe, through the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.

An agreement on Imec was signed by India, the US, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the European Union, Italy, France and Germany, India’s external affairs ministry confirmed in a statement.

“Strong connectivity and infrastructure are the base of the development of humanity. India has prioritised on this in its developmental journey,” said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment conference with G20 leaders.

The pact proposes two separate corridors: one in the east connecting India to the Gulf and a northern corridor connecting the Arabian Gulf with Europe.

“The 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,” UAE state-run news agency Wam reported.

The value of the proposed plan was not disclosed.

US President Joe Biden said it was a “real big deal” that would bridge ports across two continents and lead to a “more stable, more prosperous and integrated Middle East”.

He added that the pact would unlock “endless opportunities” for clean energy, clean electricity and laying cables to connect communities.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the pact offers opportunities for manufacturing, innovation and people.

“But our intention is to make it real and to be sure that after this commitment, we have concrete results,” he said.

The rail link will make trade between India and Europe nearly 40 percent faster, said European Commission president Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen.

The initiative will focus on advancing energy infrastructure, helping with the production and transportation of environmentally-friendly green hydrogen to all participating nations.

As part of the plan, there is also a provision for improving telecommunications and data connectivity by deploying an undersea cable connecting the entire region.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdoğan said he hoped the ports and rail corridor project would work in coordination with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The BRI was launched by Chinese president Xi Jinping in October 2013 as a global infrastructure development strategy to invest in more than 150 countries and international organisations across Asia, Africa and Latin America. 

In the Middle East, China has established full strategic partnerships with Algeria, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Iran.

Of 45 countries receiving Chinese financing and investment in the first six months of 2023, Saudi Arabia had the highest construction volume at $3.8 billion, followed by Tanzania with $2.8 billion and the UAE at $1.2 billion, according to a report by the Green Finance & Development Center at Fudan University in Shanghai. 

Latest articles

Saudi Arabia sold three sukuk tranches of $1.25 billion, $1.5 billion and $2.25 billion

Saudi Arabia’s new sukuk order book hits $20bn

Order books for Saudi Arabia’s $5 billion Islamic bond (sukuk) reached $20 billion, according to news report. The kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, sold tranches of $1.25 billion, $1.5 billion and $2.25 billion, reported IFR, a London Stock Exchange Group publication. The bonds have durations of three, six and 10 years, respectively. Spread on […]

As part of the agreement, Lenovo will establish its Middle East and Africa headquarters in Saudi Arabia

China’s Lenovo issues $2bn bonds to repay Saudi Alat debt

China’s Lenovo Group has issued $2 billion in convertible bonds to Alat, a Public Investment Fund (PIF)-backed technology manufacturing company, to repay its existing debt and boost working capital. As part of the agreement, the Hong Kong-headquartered personal computer maker will open a new PC and server manufacturing facility and establish its Middle East and Africa […]

Adnoc Distribution plans to open 15 to 20 new fuel stations this year

Adnoc Distribution targets 200 EV stations this year

Adnoc Distribution, the UAE’s largest fuel and convenience retailer, is planning to more than double the number of fast electric vehicle (EV) charging stations as part of its five-year expansion strategy. The company has 90 fast EV charging points and aims to reach 150-200 by the end of the year, the UAE state-run Wam news […]

A UBS report shows wealthy Latin American families are more likely to invest in the Middle East than US or European counterparts

Wealthy Latin Americans more likely to invest in Middle East

Wealthy Latin American families were more present as investors in the Middle East than those from other parts of the world in 2023, a global banking report says, but overall numbers are low and down from 2022.  UBS bank’s Global Family Office Report for 2024 showed that Latin American families had placed 2 percent of […]