Beijing: Recently, the Middle East Europe Corridor (IMEC) was announced in India as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China’s BRI is referred to as the Silk Road in modern times. A conference to mark the end of 10 years of BRI will be organized in Hong Kong from September 14th. In such a situation, experts say that before the conference, America and India announced a plan that is being considered as an alternative to the BRI. In his opinion, better conditions could be achieved for the countries joining via this corridor.
Good competition for BRI
Henry Nduka Awuregu, director general of the Scholars Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which promotes investment in Nigeria, told Voice of America: “I think the more possible, the better.” He says the BRI is very small on IMEC scale and does not yet include any African countries. Neither Central Asia nor Southeast Asia or any other South Asian country except India has a place in it. However, representatives of the participating and non-involved countries say that the competition for BRI is quite good. Global businesses will benefit from better connectivity.
What did Pakistani officials say?
On the occasion of the G20 summit in India, the India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor will be an attempt to connect India to many Arab Gulf states of the Middle East and Europe through a port and rail network. According to experts, the goal of the BRI is to ensure China’s access to natural resources. In addition, direct trade and circulation between the countries of Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East must be promoted.
IMEC was announced at a time when America is concerned about China’s growing economic power and expanding reach around the world. Many countries have been warned about falling into a debt trap due to the BRI. Pakistan’s Deputy Consul General in Hong Kong Muhammad Amjad Ahmed said that it could take a long time for the IMEC results to be available. He says it could take decades to get the results.
Pakistanis said BRI is a lot
Ahmed said that moreover, BRI has just begun. China has contributed a lot, invested and added territories. He said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor or CPEC, one of the BRI projects, has made solid progress with investments of around $60 billion made so far. This project was started in 2013. The aim of CPEC is to build a corridor of 3000 kilometers. CPEC includes construction of ports, highways and railway stations. This will significantly reduce the time it takes for oil from the Middle East to reach China.