Mains Daily Question
Sept. 19, 2023

Q3. What is the significance of the recently announced India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor(IMEC) for India and the world? Discuss the challenges associated with the successful implementation of the said corridor? (10M/150W)

Model Answer


Introduction: Describe what is India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor(IMEC) along with mentioning the countries involved.


Heading 1: Significance of  India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor(IMEC)

Heading 2: Challenges associated with IMEC implementation.

Conclusion: In conclusion, can mention about how IMEC can help in promoting India’s interest, India’s global rise and as a measure to tackling rising chinese influence.


Answer: The India-Middle East-Europe economic order(IMEC) is an infrastructure development project launched on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Delhi it aims for the faster movement of goods between India, Middle-east and Europe through development for railway network, shipping networks, energy cables, and data links.


Significance of  India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor(IMEC):

IMEC corridor as major geopolitical and geoeconomic significance for India and world promoting India’s strategic interests as follows.


Geopolitical significance:

  1. Normalisation of relations and stability in the Middle east: The main participants of IMEC include Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel along with India, USA and Europe Union. This promotes normalisation of diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia which are the main countries of the Middle East and also promotes regional stability.
  2. Counter to Chinese influence in Middle east region: The IMEC corridor which is led by India, USA and European Union will acts at a counter to the Chinese influence and presence in Middle- east due to its belt and Road initiative. Thereby promoting transparent and rules based order.
  3. Promoting India’s strategic interests in the region: The IMEC will help India to bypass Pakistan and also an alternative route for India to connect to Europe along with route through Iran’s Chabahar port. Thus, promoting India's long term strategic interest.
  4. Rising India’s Influence: IMEC is also seen as revival of ancient spice route as a counter to China’s BRI.


Geoeconomic Significance:

  1. Better access to Market and employment creation: Through IMEC corridor India gets quicker and easier access to markets of Middle eastern countries. India can make use of its cultural links to promote growth of trade with the region.
  2. Faster movement of Goods: According to a US report, the IMEC corridor will make trade between India and Europe 40% faster thereby increasing trade competitiveness of India.
  3. Infrastructure development: This corridor will enable India to develop infrastructure like railway tracks etc in the countries that lack infrastructure.
  4. Strengthening of regional supply chains, economic cohesion, and energy network in the region.


 Challenges associated with successful implementation of IMEC corridor:

  1. Missing infrastructure links and logistics standardisation issue: Of the total rail route length of 2915 km, 1095 km is still missing of which more than 500km has to be built new. Alongwith this, there is the issue of standardisation of the gauge engine for intercontinental cohesion.
  2. Chinese resistance and presence in the region: China has heavily invested in the region through its Belt and Road Initiative. Thus the issue of pushback from China and also Piraeus port in Greece is controlled by Chinese state companies which is an important part of IMEC.
  3. Potential pushback by Egypt: Since IMEC bypasses the Suez Canal of Egypt, Egypt stands to lose billions of dollars in loss of revenue due to lowered traffic through the Suez Canal.
  4. Issue of Rise in Logistics costs: The number of times the cargo will get off loaded as it changes hand from ships to rail will increase the handling cost which includes terminal handling costs, container yard charges and so on.
  5. Geopolitical tensions in the region: The Geo-political tensions between Israel-Saudi Arabia, USA and Saudi Arabia due to Chinese presence may derail the projects progress.


IMEC provides India a good opportunity to integrate with global supply chains, promote growth of India’s trade and commerce, thereby ensuring long term growth and development. Hence care should be taken to address the bottlenecks in the implementation of project in a fair and transparent manner to ensure sustainability of the project.


Subjects : Current Affairs
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