Turkey proposes alternative to India-Middle East trade corridor

Turkey is engaged in “intensive negotiations” to find a replacement for the India-Middle East trade corridor proposal adopted at the G20 meeting this month. Turkey wants to maintain its long-standing position as a major transit hub for goods traveling from Asia to Europe.

The proposed India-Middle East line, which will carry goods from the subcontinent to European markets via the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, has received no support from Turkey.

After the G20 summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that “there can be no corridor without Turkey” and that “the most appropriate route for trade from east to west must pass through Turkey.”

The country’s foreign minister, Hakan Fidan, has now reiterated his pessimism, saying last week that “experts had doubts about the primary target.” [of the India-Middle East corridor] “Rationality and efficiency” and that “more geostrategic concerns” were at stake.

Turkey wants to underline its long history as a link between East and West and the Silk Roads.

According to maps provided by the Baghdad government, the products will be transported to Turkey via the planned $17 billion route from Grand Faw port in southern Iraq after passing through 10 Iraqi provinces.

Emre Peker, Europe director at think tank Eurasia Group, told the Financial Times: “Turkey lacks the funding to realize the full scope of the project and appears to be counting on support from the UAE and Qatar to build the planned infrastructure.”

Peker said that for this to happen, Gulf governments would need to be convinced that their investments would be profitable – something that was not immediately obvious among Gulf states [Development Road] Project.

Sybil Alvarez

"Incurable gamer. Infuriatingly humble coffee specialist. Professional music advocate."

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