IMEE Economic Corridor announced during G20 summit 2023, to connect India and Europe. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the India Middle East Europe (IMEE) Economic corridor during the G20 Summit held in New Delhi, from 9 September to 10 September 2023.
Important countries involved in the architecture of the proposed Economic Corridor, i.e., India – Middle East/ West Asia – Europe Economic Corridor, are INDIA, USA, UAE, SAUDI ARABIA, JORDON, ISRIEL AND EUROPEAN UNION. This economic corridor will show the sustainability to the whole world”, PM Modi said. Through this article, you will understand the details of the IMEE economic corridor.
Let us understand the Economic Corridor before we analyze the IMEE Economic Corridor.
As per the Asian Development Bank, the Economic Corridor is a complex system. It is an integrated system of rails, roads, and ports that connect various member countries.
It link the various production centre’s including industrial cluster, manufacturing hubs and economic zones. It also connect the production center with centres of demand such as capitals and major town and cities. It act as a gateways the subregion for regional, national and international trade.
For example, the Greater Mekong Region is an Economic Corridor that provides better integration of various economic activities for countries such as Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, etc.
Economic Corridor in a nutshell:
In a nutshell, economic corridors help the people, capital, goods, services, and labor move across borders and within the countries in the geographical areas of Economic Corridors.
Geographical coverage of IMEE Economic Corridor
The proposed Economic Corridor is to connect India and the Middle East through the Arabian Sea and Europe through the Mediterranean Sea. The geographical regions of the Economic Corridor are shown below on the map.
Figure-3, Economic Corridor to connect India with Europe at present (Announced at G20 Summit, Delhi 2023.
Figure-4, The trading routes route connected India with other civilizations during the Indus Valley Civilisation (3300 BC to 1300 BC).
The Economic Corridors include two components especially, the eastern economic corridor and the northern economic corridor. The former will connect India with the Arabian peninsula through the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf. However, later is to connect the Arabian peninsula to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea. Two components of the economic corridor are shown in Figure 3.
The Economic Corridor is a multimodal corridor which will have sea route and land route specially Rail routes in the Arabian Peninsula. The detail of the infrastructure development and investments are not available yet. But experts are considering that the existing infrastructure and methodology would be used.
Somewhere or other, trade route such from India (Mumbai Port) to UAE, Israel (Haifa Port) are busy trading routes. They are going to play significant role in the proposed Economic Corridor.
Significance of the IMEE Economic Corridor for India.
As reported in the India Express, the existing infrastructure of rail connectivity and ports available across the Arabian Peninsula such as the Haifa port of Israel and Dubai ports are to be used for improving the transport connectivity. Once this economic corridor is materialized, it will help in reducing the traffic of the Suez Canal and improve the cargo movement between India and Europe.
The proposed economic corridor would act as an intensifying gateway for trade and improve the investment, tourism, medical, manufacturing, and transportation, etc.
It will provide opportunities for the greater engagement of private and government partnerships in various fields of economic growth and development. Subsequently, it is to boost the export of goods and services of India.
With the development of the said economic corridor, not only India but also the western countries will be in position to strategically counter the China’ backed Belt and road Initiatives (BRI). It is considered to be the best alternative to BRI.
It is going to impact not only Indian society positively but also has the potential to influence the society of member countries at large. If we try to weigh the effect of the economic corridor on India Society, if improved as explained in the above paragraph, it is going to improve the per capita income of India and will open new opportunities for Jobs in the future.
Challenges for the IMEE Economic Corridor
As no official announcement has been made so for regarding infrastructure development projects, the investments pattern, fund arrangements, etc.
How the IMEE EC economic corridor is to be governed. The structure of the governing body is yet to be finalized. Whether the decision on the integration of the various economic activities such as primary, secondary, tertiary, quaternary, etc. are negotiated or are rob negotiations. This is to come into the public domain.
Whether it is going to be a comprehensive Economic corridor or a negative list will dominate the trade. If the proposed economic corridor makes people’s mobility easy, India will benefit a lot as it has the advantage of a demographic dividend.
Since the governing structure of the member countries is different, it may pose challenging tasks for the governing body of the Economic corridor. The polity of the Middle East and India & Europe are different. Middle East polity is dominantly monarchy. However, India and European countries are democratic. The different structures of governments may pose some sort of challenge in the development of IMEE EC.
Historical Background for IMEE Economic Corridor.
William Dalrymple, in his book “The Golden Road,” threw light on this matter in detail.
Recently, historian William Dalrymple in his interview with Indian Express, put his opinion on the historical connection with the India-Middle East- Europe Economic Corridor. According to him, there had been a flourishing trade between the Rome empire and the Indian Subcontinent trade routes connecting Europe and the subcontinent through the Red Sea during the 1st and 2nd Centuries CE.
If we go further into history, we find evidence of trade between Meluha (people of India Valley Civilisation) and Mesopotamia Empire. These civilizations are considered one of the very oldest (IVC- 3300BC to 1300BC). Probably the trade volume would have been very small.
However, the trade volume during the Roman Empire had been comparatively huge as a large number of gigantic ships were involved in transporting the goods to and fro from the subcontinent to the Roman Empire and Indian Subcontinent during the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. This was the time when the Roman Empire was at its peak and covered a large geographical area around the Mediterranean Sea and Egypt was also in their control.
If the aforementioned challenges and issues are taken into account for the India-Middle East -Europe Economic Corridor. It is going to ensure inclusive development, increase the prosperities of the people of member countries and will improve the living standard and per capita income.