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Former Engie executive appointed as French emissary for logistics corridor project between Europe and Asia

Former Engie executive appointed as French emissary for logistics corridor project between Europe and Asia

Former Engie executive appointed as French emissary for logistics corridor project between Europe and Asia

The project should represent an alternative to the new “Chinese Silk Road”. Emmanuel Macron has appointed Gérard Mestrallet, former CEO of Engie and former president of Suez, as emissary of the logistics integration corridor project between Europe and Asia, designated the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec), the Elysee Palace said on Monday. .

This corridor, as announced on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in New Delhi on September 9, 2023, is intended to provide an alternative to the sea and rail links that economically link China with Europe and aims to stimulate trade relations between India, the Middle East and Europe. According to a press release issued by the White House in September 2023, the agreement in principle has already been signed by the United States, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the European Union, France, Germany and Italy.

This logistics corridor project “provides an opportunity to advance our commercial and development model, combining economic growth and a low-carbon transition,” the Elysee Palace emphasizes.

Exchanges accelerated by 40%

Imec should take the form of a “rail link” and would “speed up trade between India and Europe by 40%,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, on the sidelines of the G20. the construction of “an electric cable and a clean hydrogen pipeline that should facilitate the exchange of energy,” as well as a “high-speed data cable,” the Commission President specified, referring to “a green and digital bridge between continents and civilizations.” “

Emmanuel Macron, who wants “France to be a key player in this project”, hopes that Marseille can become a European “beachhead” for the project, praising the “experience” of French companies in the transport and energy sectors.

French companies that Gérard Mestrallet, in addition to his mission to represent France in other participating countries, will have to support until the development and implementation of the project, so that they can participate in the tenders in the best way. “I have spoken to many companies in the maritime, rail, construction and even energy sectors who are very interested in this project,” he explains, adding that Imec is still at the beginning of its journey.

“Overriding National Interest”

The first emissary to be appointed among the participating countries, the former president of Suez Canal, the company responsible for building the Suez Canal in the 19th century, will first have to “identify ports, railway and energy infrastructure to assess existing flows and forecast future flows. “The Port of Marseille, a strategic maritime infrastructure in the Mediterranean, can play a big role, especially in the production of hydrogen,” continues Gérard Mestrallet.

Without mentioning the city of Marseille, the missionary letter from the Elysee Palace accuses it of “positioning France as the main entry and exit point in Europe for this future corridor.” The mission letter, which also highlighted the project’s “core national interest,” which “can contribute to our strategy to diversify our supply sources and strengthen our economic, energy and health security.”

Source: Le Parisien

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