G20 Summit: Major rail and shipping project linking India to Middle East and Europe

G20 leaders called for full implementation of the Black Sea grain deal, in their final declaration of the New Delhi summit. During the summit, the US, India and Gulf countries also announced a “historic” new port and railways agreement, while a Biofuel Alliance was launched. 

Russian state news agency Tass reported that G20 leaders have called for full implementation of the grain deal to ensure unimpeded deliveries of food and fertilizers from Russia and Ukraine.

“We appreciate the efforts of Turkey and UN-brokered Istanbul Agreements consisting of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Federation and the Secretariat of the United Nations on Promoting Russian Food Products and Fertilizers to the World Markets and the Initiative on the Safe Transportation of Grain and Foodstuffs from Ukrainian Ports (Black Sea Initiative), and call for their full, timely and effective implementation to ensure the immediate and unimpeded deliveries of grain, foodstuffs, and fertilizers/inputs from the Russian Federation and Ukraine,” G20 leaders said in the final declaration of the New Delhi summit.

The implementation of the deal “is necessary to meet the demand in developing and least developed countries, particularly those in Africa,” G20 leaders noted.

According to BBC, in July, Russia suspended a deal that allowed exports of Ukrainian grains to international markets, a move that sparked a price rise in many countries.

In another development in the G20 New Delhi summit, the US, India and Gulf countries announced a “historic” new railways and port corridor to link the regions, BBC also reported. Analysts see this announcement on the sidelines of the G20 as a counter to China’s Belt and Road initiative that has similar goals.

US President Joe Biden described the proposed network as a “game-changing regional investment”, as the corridor aims at linking countries in the Middle East by rail and connect them to India by port.

By reducing shipping time, costs and fuel consumption, this initiative would greatly enhance the transportation of energy resources and trade from the Gulf countries to Europe.

Meanwhile, the much-awaited Global Biofuel Alliance (GBA) was launched at the summit. GBA is a grouping of many countries and international institutions, to boost the use of cleaner fuels. India, US and Brazil are founding members of this alliance. 

India’s Prime Minister Modi said the deal would accelerate efforts to meet zero emission targets by facilitating trade in biofuels derived from sources including plant and animal waste. “India invites all of you to join this initiative,” he said.