EU, Biden, Modi, Counterbalance China’s Belt Road Initiative, Announce Economic Corridor
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – An India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor including shipping and railway links will be launched soon. 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.
The absence of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin provided opportunities for President Joe Biden to make a more affirmative case at the summit.
His backing of the new plans to partner with Europe, the Middle East, and Asia to construct a major new transit corridor connecting the regions, challenges Beijing’s own efforts at expanding global trade with its Belt Road initiatives. India has been strongly opposed to the latter seeing it as a regional threat from China.
Biden, 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.
The project is part of an initiative called the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment.
Ursula von der Leyen said, “This will be a 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 percent faster.” She also said that an electricity cable and clean hydrogen pipeline to foster clean energy trade between Asia, the Middle East, and Europe.
Meanwhile, Biden said, “This is a real big deal. Building sustainable, resilient infrastructure, making quality infrastructure investments, and creating a better future… 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,” he said.