Train to India from UAE? New Mideast corridor would include rail connectivity, Delhi says – News
Official says the corridor will include ports, railways, better roads and also power, gas grids and optical fibre network
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal with Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Investment Khalid Al Falih during the ‘India-Saudi Investment Forum’, in New Delhi. — PTI
Published: Mon 11 Sep 2023, 6:48 PM
A new ports and railway corridor for the Middle East and South Asia will include train links to India, an Indian foreign ministry official said on Monday, offering new details about the plan unveiled over the weekend at the G20 summit in Delhi.
Asked about the proposals, Ausaf Sayeed, a secretary in the Foreign Ministry, spelled out that the corridor would include trains to India and not just links by port.
“India would be connected by railroads is the right interpretation, rather than India building the railroads,” he said in response to a question at a media briefing.
The multinational rail and ports deal, which includes as members the United States, Saudi Arabia, India, the European Union and the UAE, is being viewed as a response to China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
The corridor would be “the equivalent of the Silk Route and Spice Road,” Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al Falih said at an event in New Delhi later in the day, adding that it will provide “greater energy connectivity, green materials and processed and finished goods that will rebalance the global trade”.
During Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s state visit to New Delhi on Monday, India and Saudi Arabia also discussed the possibility of trading in local currencies and expediting the negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which Saudi Arabia is a member.
Sayeed said the two countries signed eight agreements on Monday, including a pact to upgrade their hydrocarbon energy partnership to a comprehensive energy partnership for renewables, petroleum and strategic reserves.
Saudi Arabia is among the top exporters of petroleum to India.
They also agreed to create a joint task force for $100 billion in Saudi investment, half of which is earmarked for a delayed refinery project along India’s western coast, Sayeed said.
Sayeed said that new corridor will include ports, railways, better roads and also power, gas grids and optical fibre network.
During their talks earlier in the day the Indian leader and the Saudi Crown Prince also discussed cooperation in space, semiconductors and collaboration in defence manufacturing as well.
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