India, UAE Hold First Talks on Advancing the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor


The discussions regarding the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) involved key stakeholders, such as DP World UAE, AD Ports Group, and the UAE’s Federal Customs Authority.

India and the UAE wrapped up discussions regarding the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) during a recent meeting. The deliberations, held from May 15 to 17, marked the inaugural gathering of an inter-ministerial delegation from India under the Intergovernmental Framework Agreement between the two nations. This agreement focuses on collaboration for the development and operation of IMEEC, aiming to enhance trade routes and reduce costs effectively.

During the G20 Summit in New Delhi in September last year, India, the US, UAE, Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, and the European Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the IMEEC, to establish new trade routes and strengthen commercial engagements.

According to a press release from the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi, IMEEC holds promise for offering alternative supply routes, thus optimizing efficiencies and cutting down expenses. Led by Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Sunjay Sudhir, the discussions involved key stakeholders such as DP World UAE, AD Ports Group, and the UAE’s Federal Customs Authority.

The Indian delegation, as outlined in the press release, comprised senior officials from various governmental bodies, including the Ministry of Shipping, Ports & Waterways, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Central Board of Excise and Customs, and Deendayal Upadhyay Port, Kandla. During their visit to Khalifa Port, Fujairah Port, and Jebel Ali Port, they engaged in detailed dialogues with respective port authorities to streamline the movement of goods between India and the UAE, as well as beyond. Additionally, meetings were held with UAE Customs Authorities to foster cooperation.

The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi emphasized the significance attached by both governments to the IMEEC project, evident in the prompt organization of the visit within three months of signing the Agreement. The Corridor, once operational, is expected to provide efficient supply routes, yielding mutual benefits in terms of cost reduction and enhanced trade. Both sides affirmed their commitment to further discussions for the swift implementation of the Agreement.

The framework agreement for IMEEC was signed on February 13, 2024, in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This Agreement underscores cooperation towards IMEEC’s development and explores potential joint investments and technical collaborations.

India-UAE relations enjoy the status of a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, initially established during Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit to New Delhi in 2017. Both governments expressed satisfaction with the progress made across various sectors, highlighting the significant expansion of the partnership over the years.

Among the agreements signed in February were the Bilateral Investment Treaty, the Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on IMEEC, the MoU for cooperation on Digital Infrastructure Projects, the MoU in the field of Electricity Interconnection and Trade, and the MoU for cooperation with the National Maritime Heritage Complex, Lothal at Gujarat.


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