IMEC will reshape global trading routes, says G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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IMEC will reshape global trading routes, says G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant

Sep 14, 2023 11:52 AM IST

The India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor will have far reaching global economic implications.

The India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor (IMEC) can be labelled as a green and digital bridge connecting continents and civilizations, says Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa. The corridor is designed to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, promote economic cohesion, create jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions, he says in this interview. Excerpts:

G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)
G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)

What do you think have been the biggest wins for India as far as G20 Summit was concerned?

Gaining consensus on the geopolitical paragraphs is a big gain for India diplomatically. This is a testament to our G20 leadership and our growing global stature. We have also taken to the world, India’s development story. Our success in driving socio-economic transformation was crucial in building full consensus within the G20.

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Ideas such as India’s new Lifestyle for Environment (LiFE) initiative, promoting sustainable lifestyles, have found global acceptance. Millets have been recognized as a superfood globally, beneficial for both the health of individuals and also the planet. Through digital public infrastructure (DPI) we have leveraged technology to narrow inequalities and improve government service delivery. We have shifted the narrative from development of women to development led by women.

India’s imprint has also been left on some crucial outcomes of G20 this year, across a range of sectors. The Deccan High-level Principles on Food Security and Nutrition; Chennai High-level Principles for Blue/Ocean Economy; Goa Roadmap for Tourism; Gandhinagar Implementation Roadmap for Land Restoration and Jaipur Call for Action to enhance access for MSMEs to gain information are pertinent examples.

What do you think is the true potential of the India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor (IMEC)?

IMEC, a rail and shipping corridor that will connect India to Europe through West Asia, has the potential to have a long term impact to deepen physical connectivity, unlock tremendous commercial opportunities, set new standards in infrastructure financing and development, and reshape global trading routes.

So, the possibilities are enormous.

Yes. The IMEC is also likely to have far reaching global economic implications. The eight IMEC signatories account for about half the world’s economy and 40% of the population. The initiative’s comprehensive approach encompasses connecting key commercial hubs, supporting the development and export of clean energy, expanding energy grids and telecommunication networks, promoting clean energy technologies and enhancing Internet access for communities.

What are some of the other objectives with regard to the economic corridor?

The project can be labelled as a green and digital bridge connecting continents and civilizations, designed to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, promote economic cohesion, create general jobs and cut greenhouse gas emissions. IMEC being closely associated to Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII), can potentially mobilise significant parts of the $600 billion pledged for PGII for critical infrastructure development.

Going forward what are the milestones that you hope to achieve as G20 Sherpa? What are the kind of follow-up moves required to ensure these decisions taken at the Summit come to fruition?

It is important to see the recommendations in the New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration (NDLD) are implemented in G20 countries and the Prime Minister is cognizant of the same. As he said in his closing remarks, India’s Presidency has 2.5 months remaining. At the end of November, the Prime Minister has suggested a virtual session of G20 leaders, to take stock of the NDLD and how implementation of the recommendations can be accelerated. This stocktaking will no doubt be a very important milestone in our Presidency. It will take on added significance, as this virtual meeting will take place before COP 28 to be held in the UAE.

At the same time, this virtual session will also be held after the 2023 SDG Summit, where global leaders will take stock of progress on the SDGs. This virtual session will no doubt play a key role in driving global progress towards our collective SDG and climate goals.

What is your sense of India’s position in the world, now that the Summit has been labelled a success?

The success of our Presidency will only further solidify India’s standing in the world. We are already the fastest growing large economy. We are the youngest country in the world. We are also the most innovative economies today, with the third largest startup ecosystem in the world. We are integrating ourselves in the global value chains (GVCs). Our Presidency has been bolstered by our success in driving inclusive and sustainable growth.

Early in our Presidency, we had made a promise to the Global South – that their voice and concerns would be echoed during India’s Presidency. And we have delivered exactly that. The deal was clinched owing to the Prime Minister’s credibility and emerging markets working together to bring G20 together and speak in one voice.

With the NDLD, the strongest and most ambitious in the history of G20, India has firmly established itself as a global force to be reckoned with.

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