New Delhi, Nov 15 (PTI) The ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza pose a challenge to the India-Middle East-Europe Connectivity Corridor (IMEC) envisaged to enhance transportation efficiency and reduce logistic costs, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday.
Terming the IMEC as one of the most promising connectivity projects, Sitharaman said it will be a win-win situation for all states involved as it enhances transportation efficiency, reduces logistic costs, increases economic unity, generates employment, and lowers Greenhouse Gas emissions, contributing to a cleaner, safer, better world.
"However, it is not without its geopolitical challenges and the ongoing conflict in Israel and Gaza is a worrying manifestation of these," she said while addressing the Indo-Pacific Regional Dialogue here.
The IMEC was signed at the 18th G-20 Summit held in New Delhi in September. It is a multimodal economic corridor that incorporates multiple networks of shipping, railways, and roadways and will also include electricity cables, high-speed data cables, and a hydrogen pipeline.
The corridor is expected to create a reliable and cost-effective cross-border, ship-to-rail transit network to supplement existing maritime and road transport, and facilitate trade and connectivity, leading to the economic integration of South Asia, West Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
The IMEC will connect Indian ports such as the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, Mundra (Gujarat), and Kandla (Gujarat), with West Asian ones such as Fujairah, Jebel Ali, and Abu Dhabi in the UAE, and Saudi Arabian ports of Dammam, Ras Al Khair, and Ghuwaifat.
Then there is a rail segment that will continue the IMEC and provide connection to the Saudi Arabian cities of Haradh and Al Haditha, onward to the port of Haifa in Israel.
The final segment, which some call the Northern Corridor, will once again be a maritime segment connecting the port of Haifa to the Greek port of Piraeus and there to Europe. PTI DP MR MR