Rail Linking India With Europe Announced By Biden, Allies At G20 Summit


President Joe Biden, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other G20 leaders announced at the Summit Saturday plans to construct a massive rail and shipping corridor that would link India with the Middle East and Europe and advance trade between several economies.

Key Facts

The project, dubbed the India – Middle East – Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), will consist of two corridors—one connecting India to the Arabian Gulf and one connecting the gulf to Europe, according to a statement from the White House.

Officials say the project will reduce trade costs, generate jobs, lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase trade efficiency.

The corridor will feature a railway capable of providing a “ship-to-rail transit network” and a means of laying cable for electricity, digital connectivity and pipe for the export of clean hydrogen, the White House statement added.


The initiative is seen as an attempt to curtail China’s increasing global influence through its Belt and Road Initiative, a massive global infrastructure project that includes over 150 countries.

What To Watch For

It is unclear how long such a project would take to materialize, nor how much it would cost to construct. However, officials involved in the project will establish a more thorough plan and set timelines for it within the next 60 days.

Crucial Quote

“We have an approach to the Middle East that we had been implementing since the very first day of this administration, that is focused on turning the temperature down, on de-escalating the conflicts that have been underway in some cases for many years,” Jon Finer, U.S. deputy national security adviser, told the Economic Times, referring to the project’s potential for easing tensions in the Middle East.

Key Background

News about the project’s unveiling was reported by Axios Thursday, which revealed leaders would sign a memorandum of understanding for the project’s parameters if the U.S., India, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. finalize negotiations. The corridor was viewed as a means of normalizing relations between Israel and the Arabian Gulf states.

Further Reading

Biden, Modi and G20 allies unveil rail and shipping project linking India to Middle East and Europe (Associated Press)

PM Modi announces rail, port connectivity deal with US, UAE, Saudi Arabia at G20 Summit (The Economic Times)

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