Issue Brief on “The India – Middle East – Europe Corridor (IMEC): A Complex Endeavor”


On 10 September 2023, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, alongside representatives from the United States, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the European Union unveiled plans to create a transformative transport and economic corridor that would connect South Asia with the Gulf countries and European nations. This ambitious initiative, known as the “India – Middle East – Europe Corridor” (IMEC), was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding by the participating parties.

The proposed 4800 km[1] trade route comprises two primary corridors: the east corridor, connecting India to the Gulf; and the northern corridor, linking the Gulf to Europe. At its core, IMEC seeks to establish a reliable and cost-effective cross-border ship-to-rail transit network, complementing existing maritime and road transport routes. This network aims to facilitate the seamless movement of goods and services between key regions, including India, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, and Europe.

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