India is a nation of determined individuals who are striving tirelessly for success while overcoming the mistakes of the past. Recent achievements, such as Chandrayaan-3 mission, Aditya L1 mission, certainly speak to India’s insatiable appetite for progress and its admirable ability to overcome adversity. Additionally, the recent G20 Summit in New Delhi witnessed India’s remarkable diplomatic skills, leading to many achievements on the global stage. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, India’s growing role in the world economy is making it a harbinger of global prosperity.
Global importance of India:
India’s growing role in the global economy is undeniable. According to International Monetary Fund estimates, India will contribute about 15 percent to global economic growth in the current year. This estimate underlines the rise of India as an important nation on the world stage. India is set to become the primary driver of global prosperity in the coming decade. However, with this progress comes a dual responsibility: one for its own citizens and the other for humanity globally.
Diplomatic victory at G-20 summit:
Recently, India has registered an important diplomatic achievement in the G20 New Delhi Summit. During this time, India issued a declaration unanimously accepted among all the countries. Even beyond these declarations, India entered into a series of bilateral and multilateral agreements that have served to advance national interests. These achievements have underlined India’s prowess in diplomatic negotiations and its ability to navigate the complexities of global politics.
India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor Initiative (IMEEC) unveiled
India’s significant diplomatic achievement at the G-20 summit was the unveiling of the MoU on the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor. IMEC is not just a regional economic project, but a transformational initiative that envisions connecting Asia and Europe. This includes various nations including Saudi Arabia, the European Union (EU), the United Arab Emirates (UAE), France, Germany, Italy and the United States.
Economic potential of IMEC:
The objectives of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor are deep and far-reaching. It recognizes the importance of global connectivity and the imperative to diversify supply chains. This initiative envisages two major corridors: an Eastern Corridor connecting India to the Persian Gulf and a Northern Corridor connecting the Persian Gulf to Europe. These corridors are not limited to traditional modes of transportation; Rather, it involves a comprehensive approach including railways, power cables, digital networks and clean hydrogen pipelines. Joint G.I.M.E.C countries DP is about 47 trillion US dollars, which is the total GDP of the world. It is almost half of D.P. Thus, it can be said that IMEEC’s ability to stimulate economic development is unique.
A Strategic Response to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI):
The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor is a firm response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It is known that the Belt and Road Initiative had expanded rapidly in the beginning, but later it was surrounded by controversies and criticisms. China’s imperialist approach raised concerns about debt dependence and political influence in countries involved in the BRI. In contrast, IMEEC supports a collaborative model, where each participating nation would take responsibility for building its own infrastructure according to harmonized standards. This cooperative approach not only addresses strategic concerns but also promises strong commercial benefits.
What is the Belt and Road Initiative?
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an ambitious initiative of China that aims to promote connectivity and cooperation among various countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. According to China, BRI includes about 150 countries.
Originally launched in 2013, the initiative covers roads, railways, ports, electricity grids, oil and gas pipelines as well as related infrastructure projects.
B. R. I. The project has two major components:
- Silk Road Economic Belt: It is a road connectivity and is envisaged to establish links between China and various regions including Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.
- 21st Century Maritime Silk Road: It is a maritime-based initiative and seeks to establish connectivity from China’s southern coastline to the Mediterranean Sea, Africa, Southeast Asia and Central Asia.
B. R. Learning from I.’s mistakes:
IMEEC can learn valuable lessons from the mistakes of the Belt and Road Initiative. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will give paramount importance to principles such as sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability. Member countries of IMEEC B. R. Fully aware of the need to avoid the challenges of I.I. Member states are carefully crafting a plan that aligns with the political and economic realities of the 21st century and ensures that the global partnership remains untouched by extreme ideologies.
Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) vs India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)
BRI – Envisions the creation of multiple corridors for shared development
Under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China is building six different corridors, each designed to increase connectivity and cooperation between the nations. These corridors include –
- China-Mongolia-Russia Corridor
- China-Central Asia-West Asia Corridor
- China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor
- China-Pakistan Corridor
- Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Corridor
- Eurasian Land Bridge
The primary goal of the BRI is to promote shared economic growth through various means including policy coordination, improved connectivity, seamless trade, financial integration and promotion of people-to-people ties.
However, the BRI has also faced criticism, particularly from the United States, with President Joe Biden expressing concern about its lending practices, dubbing it a “debt trap” project.
In contrast to the BRI, the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) represents a focused infrastructure project with distinctive features. It includes two corridors –
- Eastern Corridor: It will connect India with the Persian Gulf
- Northern Corridor: It will connect the Persian Gulf to Europe
The objective of IMEC is to increase economic efficiency, reduce transportation costs and promote economic integration among the participating countries. It places significant emphasis on aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals.
In particular, IMEC has received strong support from both the United States and the European Union. President Biden sees IMEEC as offering “endless opportunities” for trade, clean energy exports and improved connectivity, including laying cables for better communications. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has hailed IMEEC as a landmark project that will serve as a green and digital bridge between different continents. This is likely to increase trade between India and Europe by 40 percent.
future of connectivity
The launch of IMEEC is a precursor to multilateral connectivity models in other regions. The concept of “India, Middle East and Africa Trade and Connectivity Corridor” is a logical extension, which promises to open new avenues of economic growth and integration. Connectivity spanning Africa and South America has been envisioned as New Age projects. It will facilitate uninterrupted flow of essential commodities including food and fuel to meet global demands.
Role of America and European Union:
The changing dynamics of the global scenario is also changing the roles of powers like the United States and the European Union. The United States, once the sole superpower shaping 20th-century globalization, now recognizes the need to partner with countries best positioned in specific geographic contexts. These countries have an important role to play in shaping the success of IMEC and other similar initiatives.
IMEEC symbolizes India’s determination to reshape the framework of global engagement and reduce dependence on BRI. Although the diplomatic discourse is using buzzwords like “reducing risks from China” and “resilient supply chains,” the underlying essence of IMEEC is the restructuring of the global order to enhance the well-being of all countries and their citizens.
As we consider IMEEC and its multidimensional impacts, it becomes clear that this initiative goes beyond just economic corridors. It represents a deep reimagining of the world’s geopolitical and economic landscape, where cooperation and mutual benefit are the priority. In the years to come, IMEEC’s journey will undoubtedly shape the development of nations and the future of global interactions, providing a new dimension to collaborative efforts that serve the interests of humanity.