India, UAE Unveils Trans-Continental Trade Corridor

India, UAE Unveils Trans-Continental Trade Corridor

India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have signed a groundbreaking agreement to establish a trans-continental trade corridor connecting Europe with India via the Middle East by sea and rail. Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the pact during his visit to the UAE, backed by support from the United States and the European Union. While specific details remain undisclosed, the corridor aims to enhance regional connectivity between the two nations, building upon existing cooperation efforts.

Initially proposed at the G20 summit in New Delhi, the corridor plans to stretch from India across the Arabian Sea to the UAE, encompassing Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Israel before reaching Europe. The region’s ongoing difficulties, which include the Gaza conflict and Saudi Arabia’s suspension of normalisation efforts, highlight the significance of this agreement.

The UAE, which has maintained ties with Israel since 2020, remains committed to the trade corridor with India, potentially impacting global trade infrastructure and the Belt and Road strategy.

Despite threats to the sea route due to Yemeni Houthi attacks, India and the UAE also exchanged bilateral investment agreements covering commerce, digital infrastructure, and electrical connectivity. This marks PM Modi’s ninth trip to the Gulf state since taking office, showcasing the growing importance of Indo-UAE relations and collaborative efforts towards regional connectivity and trade expansion.