Trade Corridor between Europe and Mumbai? New West Asia Quad Might Boost It

The meeting between India’s Foreign Ministry, Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the UAE’s Foreign Minister, and the US’s Foreign Minister on October 18 adds to India’s engagement with West Asia. An important aspect of the meeting is the timing. As Yair Lapid, the Alternate Prime Minister of Israel, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, were on a virtual visit together, with Indian External Affairs Minister.

India-Arab Corridor

Four-way discussions will focus on key regional issues, promoting economic ties between states with convergent perspectives on key issues. The four ministers met as part of the ongoing Dubai Expo to discuss improvements to transportation infrastructure, follow-up, and the expansion of infrastructure.

Trade Corridor between Europe and Mumbai? New West Asia Quad Might Boost It

A piece that Professor Tanchum wrote about Mumbai and the European mainland through the Piraeus in Greece has been gaining attention. According to him, he thinks the proposed Dubai-India food corridor will be successful. His assumptions were based on media reports, announcements, the reality on the ground in these areas differs entirely. However, recent events could be pointing in the right direction.

Recent Developments

  • A leader in supply chain management and logistics, DP World has made several key investments in India since 2019, including the Indian National Infrastructure Investment Fund.
  • DP World has a significant presence at the ports of Mundra, Nhava Sheva, and Kochi on the West Coast of India. Over the past few years, DP World has invested in India, setting up a $3 billion fund. This strategy allows DP World to become a global logistics and supply chain company. Transworld Feeders’ coastal maritime operations and KRIBHCO’s rail operations have been acquired by us. An export-oriented special economic zone is being constructed at Mumbai’s Nhava Sheva container port.
  • Israeli, UAE, and Indian trilateral relationships are already being formed. Israel’s Deputy Chief of Mission in Delhi, Rony Yedidia-Clein, said on October 20 that a meeting between the three foreign ministers occur during Dubai Expo shortly. Additionally, the Indian and Israeli Consuls General in Dubai have already announced plans to organize a business meeting between the two countries in October 2021. Among the diasporas, LIFT promotes trust, commerce, investment, and goodwill as a global organization.
  • It is already possible to connect Haradh, Riyadh, Buraidah, and Haditha in Saudi Arabia with a 1392-kilometer road on the Jordanian border.

Trade Corridor between Europe and Mumbai? New West Asia Quad Might Boost It

  • There is already Chinese involvement in the project. A railway connecting the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean is also on the table as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Chinese Ocean Shipping Co. owns 60 percent of the Greek railway company Piraeus Europe Asia Rail Logistics (PEARL), which can ship 80,000 tons of cargo to Eastern Europe every year.
  • Dubai’s DP World (DPW) could also play a major role in the corridor. The company owns and operates the port and free zone of Jebel Ali. Following the Abraham Accords, Bank Leumi and the Port of Haifa have also signed an MoU.
  • A 70km section connects Beit She’an near the Israeli-Jordanian border with Haifa, the main port in Israel. Al-Haditha is 300 kilometers from Haifa. Jordan is expected to be one of the main beneficiaries of this emerging corridor. Jordan’s diplomatic relations with Israel may put the US at risk in the final stretch. Considering its close connections with Saudi Arabia and Jordan, the UAE has a unique opportunity to provide the necessary capital, but they have yet to make their move.
  • Israel seeks to promote peace in the region and strengthen economic ties in the region by building a railroad between the Gulf and the Mediterranean. Yisrael Katz first proposed the railway network during a July 2020 visit to Abu Dhabi. According to Israel’s Ministry of Transport, the project will proceed in March 2021.
  • UAE’s Etihad Rail just finished a new track between Al-Ghuwaifat and Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Arabian Railway (SAR). It is part of the GCC’s ambitious rail network and is slated to be operational by 2024. Linking Al-Ghuwaifat with Haradh near the Saudi-UAE border is part of Stage 3 of the project.

The Road Ahead

Despite how quickly the geopolitical landscape in West Asia is changing, building a multimodal link between India and Europe will be a challenging task. A Saudi Arabian agreement would be necessary to facilitate North-South railroad shipments to Israel. An air traffic management decision was made in March 2018 for Air India’s inaugural Delhi-Tel Aviv flight, permitting it to fly over Saudi Arabia. It has been a crucial period since Netanyahu’s allegedly secret trip to Saudi Arabia and the Abraham Accords.

Some progress on the Palestinian front may provide the catalyst needed to accelerate Riyadh to establish diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, and the US is pressuring Riyadh to begin the process. Once there is more clarity on funding for the Jordanian section, Jordan may take a proactive position. For Egypt to continue with the move, it needs assurances that its revenues from the Suez Canal will not be negatively affected.

Trade Corridor between Europe and Mumbai? New West Asia Quad Might Boost It

The multi-modal link between Mumbai and Piraeus would reduce shipping times between the two cities by approximately 17 days, according to Michael Tanchum. In and of itself, this is a very interesting proposal, but the freight volumes will check if it’s feasible. India’s nimble foreign policy moves in the area and its evolving trade policy makes a difference.

With its free trade negotiations (FTA) with the UAE, Israel, and the EU now on quick track, India has been dragging its feet for years. Across the world, India’s trade with the EU is estimated to pass $700 billion this year. In addition to decreasing dependence on China and shifting some manufacturing to India, Supply chain resilience initiatives will boost demand. In addition, India is striving to attract global giants to manufacture in India through its performance-linked Incentives program.

The long-term nature of this project presents a chance for India. The unfinished parts of the project in Saudi Arabia and Jordan are expected to be financed by local or international financial institutions, so companies like IRCON will be able to compete aggressively. Developing a detailed analysis of the India-ArabMed corridor as a replacement for existing shipping routes would be a good place to start, and calculating any benefits gained from better connecting with supply chains in Europe and West Asia.


Edited by Anupama Roy

Nandana Valsan

Nandana Valsan is a Journalist/Writer by profession and an 'India Book of Records holder from Kochi, Kerala. She is pursuing MBA and specializes in Journalism and Mass Communication. She’s best known for News Writings for both small and large Web News Media, Online Publications, Freelance writing, and so on. ‘True Love: A Fantasy Bond’ is her first published write-up as a co-author and 'Paradesi Synagogue: History, Tradition & Antiquity' is her second successful write-up in a book as a co-author in the National Record Anthology. She has won Millenia 15 Most Deserving Youth Award 2022 in the category of Writer. A lot of milestones are waiting for her to achieve. Being a Writer, her passion for helping readers in all aspects of today's digital era flows through in the expert industry coverage she provides.

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