EU wants to build rival New Silk Road to India
The European Union, US, India and several other countries announced plans at the G20 summit this weekend for an ambitious rail and shipping project that should better connect India, the Middle East and Europe logistically.
The plans, which the initiators describe as historic, are a direct response to China’s New Silk Road. According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the project should speed up trade flows between India and Europe by 40 per cent.
‘This is nothing less than historic,’ von der Leyen said. “It will be the most direct connection to date between India, the Arabian Gulf and Europe: with a rail link that will make trade between India and Europe 40% faster; with an electricity cable and a clean hydrogen pipeline to foster clean energy trade between Asia, the Middle East and Europe; with a high-speed data cable to link some of the most innovative digital ecosystems in the world and create business opportunities all along the way,” she said.
Israel central role
Part of the project is the construction of two transport corridors. It also involves the construction of a hydrogen pipeline and the laying of high-speed data cables between the countries involved. The parties also want to improve and expand the power network. Israel would have a central role in the construction of the hydrogen pipeline to Europe.
Concrete details about the new rail and shipping route are not yet known and, according to the initiators, still need to be worked out. The countries have agreed to come up with an ‘action plan’ and a ‘timetable’ for the project within sixty days.
300 billion euros
Nothing is yet known about the costs of the initiative. Part of the financing will come from the EU Global Gateway initiative, it is said. Brussels wants to use this pot to invest 300 billion euros in infrastructure in emerging economies in the world in the coming years. In addition, Saudi Arabia, which is one of the initiators together with the United Arab Emirates, has already pledged an amount of 20 billion dollars.
The article was originally published on NT.nl in Dutch.