The Crisis In The Middle East

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) Project


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: IMEC Project, Various ports mentioned

Mains level: NA

Why in the News?

An Indian inter-ministerial delegation visited the UAE to discuss the operational aspects of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), marking a significant step forward since the signing of the agreement.

About IMEC Project

  • IMEC is part of the broader Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), which focuses on infrastructure development in economically developing regions.
  • The MoU for IMEC was formally endorsed on September 10, 2023, during the 2023 G20 New Delhi summit.
  • Signatories to this agreement: India, United States, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union.
  • Aim: To integrate Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, enhancing economic cooperation across these regions.
  • Objectives:
    • Improve transportation efficiency, lower costs, and promote economic cohesion among participating nations.
    • Generate employment opportunities and reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions.
    • Facilitate trade and connectivity, thereby reshaping regional integration among Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

Corridor Configuration:

IMEC comprises two primary corridors:

  1. East Corridor: Linking India to the Arabian Gulf.
  2. Northern Corridor: Connecting the Gulf region to Europe.

Key ports integral to the project’s success include:

  • India: Mundra, Kandla, and Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (Mumbai).
  • Middle East: Fujairah (UAE), Jebel Ali (Dubai, UAE), Abu Dhabi (UAE), Dammam (Saudi Arabia), and Ras Al Khair (Saudi Arabia).
  • Israel: Haifa port.
  • Europe: Piraeus (Greece), Messina (Italy), and Marseille (France).

Additionally, it encompasses various infrastructure components such as railway networks, ship-to-rail connections, road transport routes, electricity cables, hydrogen pipelines, and high-speed data cables.


  • IMEC, upon completion, will establish a dependable and cost-efficient cross-border ship-to-rail transit network, complementing existing maritime and road transport networks.
  • The IMEC Project holds significant promise in redefining regional trade dynamics and fostering sustainable economic growth and cooperation among the involved countries.


[2018] The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is viewed as a cardinal subset of China’s larger ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. Give a brief description of CPEC and enumerate the reasons why India has distanced itself from the same. (150 Words, 10 Marks)

[2016] ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ is sometimes mentioned in the news in the context of the affairs of:

(a) African Union

(b) Brazil

(c) European Union

(d) China


Back2Basics: Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII)

  • The PGII was first announced in June 2021 during the G7 (or Group of Seven) summit in the UK.
  • The G7 countries include the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the European Union (EU).
  • US President Joe Biden had called it the Build Back Better World (B3W) framework. However, it did not register much progress.
  • In 2022, during the G7 summit in Germany, the PGII was officially launched as a joint initiative to help fund infrastructure projects in developing countries through public and private investments.
    • Objective: To mobilise nearly $600 billion from the G7 by 2027 to invest in critical infrastructure.
    • It is essentially in response to the infrastructure projects being undertaken and funded by China under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) at a global level.


Present Maritime Routes between India and Europe

Trade Route Route Issues Advantages
Suez Canal Route Indian Ocean -> Arabian Sea -> Red Sea -> Suez Canal -> Mediterranean Sea -> Europe
  • High traffic causing congestion.
  • Potential for piracy, especially near the Horn of Africa.
  • Most efficient and shortest maritime route.
  • Well-established with advanced port facilities.
Cape of Good Hope Route Indian Ocean -> Arabian Sea -> Indian Ocean (southern tip of Africa) -> Atlantic Ocean -> Europe
  • Longer transit time compared to the Suez Canal.
  • Higher fuel costs and longer journey duration.
  • Avoids congestion and security risks of the Suez Canal.
  • Suitable for large vessels unable to transit the Suez Canal.


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