India, the European Union and six other countries on Saturday announced a Memorandum of Understanding to develop an “India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor”.
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the ongoing G20 Summit in New Delhi.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed between India, the European Union, United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany and Italy.
A fact sheet released by the White House stated that the corridor aims to “usher in a new era of connectivity with a railway, linked through ports connecting Europe, the Middle East, and Asia”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the corridor “promises to be a beacon of cooperation, innovation, and shared progress”. He added: “As history unfolds, may this corridor be a testament to human endeavour and unity across continents.”
“This is a big deal,” United States President Joe Biden said, according to the Associated Press. “This is a really big deal.”
The corridor is part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment – a collaboration by G7 countries to fund infrastructure projects in developing countries. The collaboration is considered to be a counter to the China-helmed Belt and Road Initiative.
The project will include a rail link enabling the transport of goods and services between India, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe.
“Along the railway route, participants intend to enable the laying of cable for electricity and digital connectivity, as well as pipe for clean hydrogen export,” the Memorandum of Understanding stated. “This corridor will secure regional supply chains, increase trade accessibility, improve trade facilitation, and support an increased emphasis on environmental, social and government impacts.”