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Renowned Economic Corridors: Silk Road to IMEC



  Sep 16, 2023

Exploring Economic Corridors: Key Concepts and Distinctive Features


What are some renowned economic corridors?

Historically, the Silk Road, spanning 6,400 km and connecting East and West for over a millennium, stands as an exemplary model.

Apart from the Belt and Road Initiative, other notable corridors include the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Corridor, linking Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar, and the corridor connecting Almaty in Kazakhstan with Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is another significant example
 

How do economic corridors function?

Economic corridors, a concept pioneered by the Asian Development Bank, represent an integrated network of infrastructure, encompassing railways, highways, and ports, within a designated geographical area.

These corridors serve as vital links connecting centers of production and consumption, fundamentally altering the regions they traverse.
 

What are the specific advantages of corridors?

Certainly! Economic corridors offer numerous benefits. They streamline logistics, stimulate the development of industrial clusters along their routes, and catalyze economic growth.

In some cases, they can uplift regions that would otherwise remain underdeveloped by creating job opportunities and raising living standards.

A study by the World Bank suggests that China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) could lead to reduced travel times, improved trade, increased incomes, and the elevation of millions from poverty.
 

What is the current status of BRI?

Recently, the total investment in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) exceeded $1 trillion. However, there are indications that China may be scaling back on BRI due to economic slowdowns and reluctance to fund extensive projects abroad.
The initiative has faced criticism for pushing countries into debt, allegations of gaining strategic influence, neglecting local needs, sovereignty concerns, and adverse environmental impacts.
 

How will IMEC differ?

The India Middle East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) is part of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investment (PGII), initiated in 2002 by the G7 countries to finance infrastructure projects in emerging nations.
IMEC prioritizes transparency, climate-resilient infrastructure, and gender equality in all funded projects. It will encompass more than traditional transportation infrastructure, including pipelines for clean hydrogen transportation.


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