French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Gérard Mestrallet, former CEO of Engie and ex-president of Suez, as the first emissary for the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec) project. The logistics integration corridor aims to stimulate commercial relations between India, the Middle East, and Europe, offering economic growth and low-carbon transition. An agreement in principle has already been signed by several countries and the European Union.
As an alternative to the new “Chinese Silk Roads,” the Imec project will take the form of a rail link and is expected to accelerate trade between India and Europe by 40%. Additionally, it includes the construction of an electric cable, a clean hydrogen pipeline, and a high-speed data cable. French President Emmanuel Macron hopes to position Marseille as the European “bridgehead” of the project, emphasizing the expertise of French companies in transportation and energy.
Gérard Mestrallet’s mission as emissary is to identify ports, railway, and energy infrastructures to assess existing and forecast future flows. The port of Marseille may play a significant role in the project, especially in terms of receiving hydrogen. France will also position itself as the main entry and exit point in Europe for the future corridor, with a focus on diversifying sources of supply and strengthening economic, energy, and health security. French companies are very interested in the project, and Mestrallet will support them in positioning themselves for the project’s calls for tenders.
The Imec project aims to create an economic bridge between Asia