The US, the EU, India and Saudi Arabia announced a megaproject that will serve as a commercial alternative to China’s Silk Road

Prime Minister Narendra Modi of the Republic of India, left, delivers remarks during a meeting with US President Joe Biden. Europa Press/Contact/Chris Kleponis – Pool via CN (Europa Press/Contact/Chris Klep/)

United States, European Union (EU), India, Saudi Arabia and other countries announced on the margins of the G20 a megaproject of railways, ports and energy connections that aims to be an alternative to China’s Silk Road.

“Today I am proud to announce that we have finalized a historic agreement to create an India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor”said the president of the United States, Joe Bidenat an event on the sidelines of the G20, along with other leaders who have promoted the project.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyenconsidered that the project is “historic”while the Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salmancalled it “important” and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said it was “unprecedented.”

Each of the leaders received applause from those present, visibly happy for making a project a reality that they had been secretly negotiating for months.

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.  EFE/EPA/AARON FAVILA/POOL
The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. EFE/EPA/AARON FAVILA/POOL (AARON FAVILA/POOL/)

This Saturday the project became a reality with the signing of a memorandum of understanding to establish the “India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor” by the countries involved: United States, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Germany, France, Italy and the European Union (EU).


As the White House National Security Advisor informed the press, Jake Sullivanwill also participate in the project Jordan and Israel, the latter without diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.

The project, Sullivan argued, will contribute to achieving “greater integration in middle East” at a time when USA is trying to Israel and Saudi Arabia normalize relations, which could open the door to some type of solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and would revolutionize the game board in the region.

The idea of ​​the megaproject is to establish railways and sea routes that connect the India with Europe through the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and IsraelSullivan explained.

In this way, the new corridor seeks to reconfigure trade between the countries of Europe, the Persian Gulf and South Asiasignificantly reducing the time needed to transport goods between these nations.

Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.  (Reuters)
Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. (Reuters)

In addition, it aims to increase energy cooperation between the signatory countries and improve their internet connections.

To do this, a pipeline will be created through which green hydrogen circulates, infrastructure will be built to connect electrical networks of different nations, and underwater and terrestrial cables will be installed to facilitate the rapid exchange of data, Sullivan explained.

Despite the ambition of the project, the memorandum of understanding is limited to outlining the objectives of the project, but does not establish how it will be financed.

The next step will be for the signatory countries to create working groups in 60 days so that the areas in which investment is needed can be identified and a realistic schedule for its execution can be established, he explained to the press. Amos HochsteinBiden’s senior advisor for infrastructure.

Both Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, and the United Arab Emirates, the center of Saudi Arabia’s finances, middle Easthave been seeking for years to protect themselves from any interruption in trade and energy routes.

However, experience shows that large infrastructure projects in the Middle East tend to be slow. An example is the railway project of more than 2,100 kilometers that seeks to connect the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar) and that has only been partially built a decade later. of its launch.


Although there is still a way to go, the announcement of the “India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor” It has great political significance and represents a show of force by the Biden Government, which has set itself the goal of countering the influence of China’s Silk Road.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping.  REUTERS/Alet Pretorius/Pool
Chinese leader Xi Jinping. REUTERS/Alet Pretorius/Pool (ALET PRETORIUS/)

Exactly ten years ago, the Chinese president, Xi Jinpinglaunched this initiative, whose legacy already includes multi-million dollar infrastructure projects, loans to developing countries and the expansion of China’s geopolitical and economic power across the five continents.

The announcement comes at a time when China has increased its influence not only in the Asia-Pacific, but also the Middle East over the past few years. For example, it acted as an intermediary in the agreement that Saudi Arabia and Iran signed in March to reestablish diplomatic relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is scheduled to host leaders from around the world, including his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Beijing in October for a forum on the Silk Road.

(With information from EFE)