G20 Summit: UAE President attends India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor
UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan with US President Joe Biden and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor talks at G20. Image Credit: UAE Presidential Court

The US signed an agreement with India, Middle Eastern countries and the European Union aimed at connecting them via a network of railways and sea routes. The US has been quietly holding talks since January on the project with India, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Israel.

The plan is to link Middle Eastern countries by rail and to India through shipping lanes from ports in the region, extending on to eastern Europe. “This is a game-changing regional investment,” US President Joe Biden said at an event announcing the plans. He thanked Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who sat between them.


The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor will integrate railway lines and port connections from India to Europe, across UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, leading to faster transit of goods. The project will develop energy infrastructure and enable the production and transport of green hydrogen to all partner countries. It includes a new undersea cable connecting the region to improve telecommunications and data transfers.

Leaders will also develop a trans-African corridor to improve transport connections between the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the so-called “Copper Belt” in Zambia to Lobito port in Angola. The US and the EU are also backing this project, known as the Lobito Corridor.

The US declined to give a timeline for completion but Biden’s senior adviser Amos Hochstein said countries would meet within the next 60 days to discuss that.

Countries were also looking at how to involve Egypt in the plans. The rail link will increase the speed of trade between India and Europe by 40 per cent, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.