The far reaching implications of the India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor
By: ABDEL AZIZ ALUWAISHEG Published: September 12, 202320:30
The eight IMEC signatories account for about half of the world’s economy and 40 percent of its population. (Reuters)
A new acronym was minted in Delhi over the weekend: IMEC. On Saturday, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, India, France, Germany, Italy, the US and the EU signed a deal during G20 meetings in New Delhi to establish the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. The IMEC will comprise two separate corridors: the east corridor will connect India to the Arabian Gulf and the north corridor will connect the Gulf to Europe.
Addressing the IMEC summit, held in New Delhi on the sidelines of the G20 summit, US President Joe Biden said that “the world stands at an inflection point in history.” He described the new agreement as “historic.”
From a Gulf perspective, the new venture will solidify the region’s historical position as the primary trade route linking Asia, Europe and Africa. By emphasizing trade in energy, the project is banking on the region’s comparative advantage in providing cheap and reliable energy to the rest of the world.
The IMEC is expected to stimulate economic development through enhanced connectivity and economic integration between Asia, the Arabian Gulf and Europe. It is also likely to have far-reaching global economic implications beyond the three regions. The eight IMEC signatories account for about half of the world’s economy and 40 percent of its population. As such, they have the capacity to transform global trade and development if they are ready to commit the right resources.
The project could also have geopolitical implications, as it raises America’s profile in this region and enhances its role as a global player. Much has been said about the compatibility of this new US-led undertaking and China’s existing Belt and Road Initiative projects in the region, but looked at from a Gulf perspective it could be a win-win-win situation for China, the US and the Gulf countries through synergies of cooperation and integration. The cohabitation of the two ventures in the region could also help defuse tensions between the two superpowers. They may have to find a way to compete peacefully, at least in this region.
According to statements made by the IMEC’s principals, the corridor will include a railway that will provide a cost-effective, cross-border ship-to-rail transit network to supplement existing maritime and road transport routes. This will enable goods and services to transit to, from and between India, the Gulf and Europe. Along the railway route, the participants intend to enable the laying of cable for electricity and digital connectivity, as well as a pipeline for clean hydrogen export.
The IMEC founding countries are counting on it to secure regional supply chains, increase trade accessibility, improve trade facilitation and support an increased emphasis on environmental, social and governmental impacts. They expect it to increase efficiencies, reduce costs, enhance economic unity, generate jobs and lower greenhouse gas emissions — resulting in a transformative integration of Asia, Europe and the Gulf.
In support of this initiative, the participants committed to work “collectively and expeditiously to arrange and implement all elements” of these two new transit routes and to establish coordinating entities to address the full range of technical, design, financing, legal and relevant regulatory standards, according to a White House statement.
The venture will solidify the Gulf’s historical position as the primary trade route linking Asia, Europe and Africa.
This will be another interesting development to watch as this will boost the southern Arab Nations trade corridor with Europe. This along with the growing development of narmalising Israel and southern Arab Nations relations will make this region more important to Europe. Bible Students know from Bible Prophecy that at the time of the end when Armageddon takes place one of the key reasons for Russia and the EU to come down in battle for the lower Middle East (King of the South as described in Daniel 11) will be to take a great spoil. This is what we read in Ezekiel 38 which describes the battle of Armageddon and provides this reason for Russia and Europe to collectively invade the Middle East.
10 “ ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: On that day thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil scheme. 11 You will say, “I will invade a land of unwalled villages; I will attack a peaceful and unsuspecting people—all of them living without walls and without gates and bars. 12 I will plunder and loot and turn my hand against the resettled ruins and the people gathered from the nations, rich in livestock and goods, living at the center of the land.” 13 Sheba and Dedan and the merchants of Tarshish and all her villages will say to you, “Have you come to plunder? Have you gathered your hordes to loot, to carry off silver and gold, to take away livestock and goods and to seize much plunder?”.”