Rail, shipping project linking India to Middle East, Europe to be announced by Biden, Modi, and EUtext_fields
New Delhi: A potential game changer for international trade was scheduled to be unveiled at the G20 conference by President Joe Biden and his allies on Saturday. The rail and shipping corridor would link India with the Middle East and eventually Europe.
According to Jon Finer, Biden's chief deputy national security adviser, the project would involve the United States, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, and other G20 nations.
As part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment, Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen plan to announce the project. Greater trade between the nations would be made possible by the rail and maritime corridor, including trading in energy products. It might also be one of the more ambitious responses to China's vast infrastructure initiative, which aims to link the world to the country's economics.
Finer outlined three key rationales for the endeavour. He began by stating that by improving the flow of energy and digital communications, the corridor would increase prosperity among the participating nations. Second, the initiative would contribute to addressing the issue of low- and middle-income countries' lack of the infrastructure necessary for growth. Third, according to Finer, it may help "turn the temperature down" on "turbulence and insecurity" emanating from the Middle East.
“We see this as having a high appeal to the countries involved, and also globally because it is transparent because it is a high standard because it is not coercive,” Finer said. Von der Leyen was expected to describe the project as “nothing less than historic” and as an “India – Middle East – Europe economic corridor” that will make trade between India and Europe 40% faster, according to a draft of her prepared remarks.
In addition to an electrical cable, a hydrogen pipeline, and a high-speed data cable, the project will also include a train link, according to von der Leyen's prepared text, which also refers to it as "a green and digital bridge across continents and civilizations."
She is also anticipated to announce the creation of a "Trans-African Corridor" that will link Zambia's copper-mining regions with Kananga province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Lobito port in Angola. Biden took part in the summit's first session, which was centred around the idea of "One Earth."
According to Finer, the US president intends to utilise the subject to advocate for increased funding to combat climate change, such as domestic incentives to promote the use of renewable energy. Biden also wants to argue that many other countries are suffering as a result of Russia's conflict in Ukraine, having to deal with higher expenses for food and energy as well as higher debt interest rates.
Since Russia invaded his nation more than 18 months ago, Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been a regular participant at international summits, including last year's G20 in Indonesia. However, Modi's administration did not extend an invitation to him to attend this year's meeting.
Zelenskyy has utilised the prominent meetings to make the case for continuing financial and military support for his nation. India is one of the most notable U.S. allies that has mainly avoided getting involved in the conflict and has even significantly increased its purchases of Russian oil. Zelenskyy's attendance at the conference was pressed for by White House officials, according to Finer. “Ultimately, it is not our decision,” Finer said.
“But you can expect that the United States and our other partners who are working with Ukraine so closely … We’ll make that case quite forcefully in the context of these conversations. The summit’s second session is about “One Family.” Biden plans to use this portion to discuss his request to Congress for additional funding for the World Bank that could generate more than $25 billion in new lending for economic development, Finer said.
While Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin choose not to participate, the White House is working to strengthen the G20 as an international platform. However, the representation of China and Russia at the meeting may make it challenging for the G20 to issue a joint statement on the conflict in Ukraine. “Really it’s incumbent upon the Chinese government to explain why a leader would or would not participate,” Finer said.