India instead of China: Europe and Italy are looking for an alternative to the Silk Road

At the G20 held in New Delhi, India, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni announced that Italy was officially bidding farewell to the new Silk Road, the maximum investment plan through which China increased its geopolitical influence. India itself could play a countervailing role against this “decoupling”: India’s president, Narendra Modi, and European Commission leader Ursula von der Leyen used the G20 stage to launch a strategic partnership that would create an economic corridor between India and Europe. Via the Middle East: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and perhaps Israel.

The details of the plan, which includes the participation of the USA, have not yet been determined, but it is clear that the aim is to trigger a series of infrastructure investments against Beijing. Modi described this corridor as a potential “beacon of cooperation, innovation and common progress.” White House chief Joe Biden refers to it as a “revolutionary investment.” Von der Leyen described it as “much more than a simple railway or cable. It is a green and digital bridge that spans continents and civilizations,” said the EU Commission president.

The project, called a partnership for global infrastructure investment, has two major challenges. On the one hand, it wants to accelerate trade between India and Europe (there are those who talk about a 40 percent increase in trade). On the other hand, it could also help normalize relations between Israel and the Gulf countries, which is why the United States is directly interested in the plan. In this sense, Saudi Arabia and Israel coming together would be a big blow for Washington. For now, Tel Aviv has not signed the project, unlike Riyadh and the United Arab Emirates. But it was mentioned in the first strategic lines.

Brussels announced that the corridor aims to “provide easier and faster transit of goods by integrating railway lines and port connections from India to Europe through the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel.” It also aims to “improve the energy infrastructure and enable the production and transportation of green hydrogen to all partners.” Finally, he wants to “strengthen telecommunications and data transmission thanks to a new submarine cable.”

The amount of money needed to provide content to the corridor and the sharing of investment costs are not yet clear to date. A working group will develop more comprehensive plans over the next 60 days. And Biden assures: “This is going to be a really big deal,” he said on the sidelines of the G20.

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Source: Today IT