'History will remember that it started on Indian soil', which project of Modi government did Sitharaman call revolutionary – Budget Speech 2024 what is India middle east Europe corridor Nirmala Sitharaman says it will be historic tlifwr theinsiderinsight

Interim Budget 2024: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presented the last budget of the second term of the Modi government on Thursday. In his interim budget speech, the Finance Minister specifically mentioned the India Middle East-Europe Trade Corridor (IMEC) and said that the corridor will become the basis of global trade in the coming 100 years.

The Finance Minister said, 'After the Covid pandemic, a new global order is emerging. When the world was going through very difficult times, India hosted the G20. India has successfully found its way in a world going through food crisis, shortage of fertiliser, food and finance due to the pandemic.

He said, 'The India Middle East-Europe Trade Corridor, which was announced during the G20 Summit last year, will prove to be a gamechanger for India and the entire world. Our vision for a developed India is to achieve prosperity by walking with nature and giving everyone the opportunity to reach their potential.

The Finance Minister said, “This is very important for India. To repeat the words of PM Modi, this corridor will become the basis of world trade in the next 100 years. History will remember that this corridor was started on Indian soil. “

What is IMEC?

IMEC is a mega project to connect India with Europe through the Middle East which was approved during the G-20 summit held in India last year. The MoU for this project was signed on 9 September and it was described as a historic agreement. Apart from India, the countries that signed the MoU include countries like America, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), European Union, France, Italy and Germany.

Under this, a huge infrastructure will be created in which India will be connected to Europe through rail and sea. Trade and connectivity will become very easy for the countries associated with this and it is believed that this project will bridge the lack of infrastructure for development in lower and middle income countries.

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How will the corridor be?

The corridor will create a strong nexus of railways and shipping networks which will facilitate trade and also save time.

For this, a sea route will be prepared from Mumbai, India to UAE. This shipping network will be connected to the entire Middle East by building a rail network. The rail network will extend to UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel. This rail network laid in the Middle East will once again be connected to the sea route. The rail network will be connected to two sea routes – the first from Israel's Haifa port to Italy and the second from Israel to France.

How much benefit to India?

India has high expectations from IMEC. It is believed that this project will give a tough competition to China's Belt and Road Initiative. India has been opposing this project of China and if IMEC becomes a ground reality then India will be able to compete strongly with China in this field.

The route between India and Europe currently takes a lot of time and is also expensive. India uses the Suez Canal to reach Europe. But if the corridor is built, India will send goods directly from Mumbai to UAE and then the goods will go by train to Haifa Port in Israel and from there will reach Europe through sea route. This will save both time and money. It is believed that with the construction of IMEC corridor, India's exports will increase manifold.

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