Macron Names Ex-Engie Chief as Envoy for Asia-EU Corridor
By siliconindia | Monday, 12 February 2024, 05:25:03 PM IST
French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Former Engie chief Gerard Mestrallet as a special envoy for the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC). This multinational rail and ports project is positioned as an alternative to China's Belt and Road initiative. Macron's objective in naming Mestrallet, a well-connected energy industry veteran, is to make France a significant player in the project and ensure favorable positioning for French companies in the early stages.
Launched during the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September, IMEC is part of the collaborative efforts by Washington and Brussels to counter China's global infrastructure initiative. The project aims to establish railway links between Middle East countries and ports connecting to India, facilitating the efficient flow of energy and trade from the Gulf to Europe. U.S. and European officials anticipate reduced shipping times, costs, and fuel usage.
A memorandum of understanding for IMEC was signed by the European Union, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S., and other G20 partners. The envisioned IMEC comprises two separate corridors: an east corridor connecting India to the Gulf and a northern corridor linking the Gulf with Europe, as outlined in the MOU. Along the railway route, participants plan to lay cables for power and data lines, as well as a pipeline for hydrogen derived from renewable energy for use in power generation.
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