Sun. Jun 16th, 2024
Turkey's Innovative Proposal for Rethinking the India-Middle East Trade Corridor

Turkey’s Innovative Proposal for Rethinking the India-Middle East Trade Corridor

Turkey’s Innovative Proposal for Rethinking the India-Middle East Trade Corridor

Türkiye’s vision for new trade routes

Following the G20 conference, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed that “there can be no corridor without Turkey” and that “the most suitable route for trade from East to West should pass through Turkey.” Turkey is actively engaged in “intensive dialogue” to explore alternatives to the India-Middle East Trade Corridor proposal, which was endorsed at this month’s G20 meeting. Turkey aims to retain its historical role as an important transit hub for goods traveling from Asia to Europe. The proposed India-Middle East corridor, designed to transport goods from the subcontinent to European markets via the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel, has not received Turkey’s support.

Geo-strategic concerns over trade efficiency

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan expressed skepticism, suggesting that “experts doubted that the primary goal [of the India-Middle East corridor] was rationality and efficiency” and that “greater geostrategic concerns” could affect the project. Turkey is keen to emphasize its historical importance as a bridge between East and West, evoking memories of the ancient Silk Roads.

A Look at the Proposed Route

According to maps provided by the Baghdad administration, products will travel along a projected $17 billion route from the Grand Faw port in southern Iraq to Turkey, passing through 10 Iraqi provinces.

Emre Peker, Europe director of the Eurasia Group think tank, said Turkey faces financing challenges for the project and can rely on UAE and Qatari support for infrastructure development. However, convincing Gulf governments about the profitability of the project remains a hurdle, raising questions over the feasibility of the proposed development road initiative.

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