IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


24th February, 2024 International News


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Picture Courtesy: https://mantraya.org/analysis-israels-war-in-gaza-curtains-drawn-on-the-india-middle-east-europe-corridor-project/

Context: Israeli Transport Minister declares a new trade route using Mundra port, Gujarat, to avoid the Red Sea due to Houthi attacks on Israel-linked ships.


  • The Israeli Transport Minister has introduced a new trade route as a strategic response to the security threats faced by Israel-linked ships in the Red Sea.
  • This development is driven by ongoing tensions between Israel and Yemen's Houthi rebels, who continue to carry out attacks on ships associated with Israel in the Red Sea.

Key Steps in the New Route

Sea Transport

  • The trade route initiates with goods being shipped from Mundra Port in Gujarat, India.
  • The destination for the sea leg of the journey is ports in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), notably Dubai's Jebel Ali Port.

Land Transport

  • Following the sea transport, the goods then undergo land transportation using trucks.
  • The overland route passes through Saudi Arabia and Jordan before reaching the final destination in Israel.
  • The land transport operations are to be jointly managed by two companies - Israel’s Trucknet and the UAE’s PureTrans.

Benefits of the New Route

  • Enhanced Safety: By completely avoiding the Red Sea, the new route mitigates security risks associated with attacks on Israel-linked ships by Houthi rebels.
  • Cost and Time Efficiency: The route aims for potential cost and time efficiency compared to traditional routes through the Red Sea. The exact gains in efficiency would depend on factors such as the nature of the cargo and the distance travelled.
  • Economic Benefits: The land route offers economic benefits to Saudi Arabia and Jordan by generating revenue through transit fees and duties, contributing to their economies.

Potential Challenges

  • Feasibility: The long-term viability of the route depends on sustained political stability and cooperative relations between the involved countries, particularly considering the dynamic geopolitical situation in the Middle East.
  • Costs: Land transportation, though chosen for security reasons, might incur higher costs compared to traditional sea transport, especially for bulk goods.
  • Capacity Constraints: The effectiveness of the land route is contingent upon the capacity of the transportation infrastructure in Saudi Arabia and Jordan to handle increased traffic.

Connection to Larger Project (IMEC)

The newly introduced trade route is seen as more than a tactical response; it is also considered a potential test case for the larger India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) project.

IMEC aims to establish a comprehensive economic corridor connecting India to Europe through the Middle East. However, the exact form and successful implementation of the IMEC project remain uncertain, and recent events, including the conflicts, have introduced complexities.


  • The Mundra Port trade route is a strategic initiative by Israel to secure its trade flow in the face of security threats. While offering potential benefits in safety, cost efficiency, and economic gains, the success and sustainability of the route will be contingent on various factors, including political stability, infrastructure capacity, and economic feasibility, underscoring the intricacies of geopolitical considerations in trade route planning.

Must Read Articles:

India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/india-middle-east-europe-economic-corridor

Black Sea, Red Sea & Panama Canal: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/black-sea-red-sea-panama-canal#:~:text=Red%20Sea%20is%20a%20narrow,continents%20of%20Africa%20and%20Asia.

HOUTHIS: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/houthis#:~:text=Who%20are%20the%20Houthis%3F,Yemeni%20President%20Ali%20Abdullah%20Saleh.


Q. Critically evaluate the potential economic benefits and drawbacks of the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC) for each of the following regions: India, the Middle East, and Europe. Consider factors such as trade diversification, infrastructure development, job creation, and potential security concerns.

Answer Structure:

1.Briefly introduce the IMEC initiative, highlighting its goals and geographical coverage. State the key aspects mentioned in the question, like trade diversification, infrastructure development, job creation, and security concerns.

2.Discuss how IMEC can help diversify trade, opening up new markets and reducing dependence on existing routes. Analyze the potential for increased trade volume and its impact on economic growth, employment generation, and investment opportunities.

3.Analyze potential challenges in realizing the projected benefits like infrastructure gaps, high investment costs, and bureaucratic hurdles. Discuss concerns about unfair trade practices or dominance by specific regions within the corridor. Mention potential security threats disrupting trade flows or causing infrastructure damage.

4.Summarize key findings on the potential economic benefits and drawbacks for each region. Offer a balanced and nuanced perspective, acknowledging both the potential advantages and the need to address possible challenges.

Additional Tips:

Use specific examples and data to support arguments whenever possible.

Maintain a neutral and objective tone throughout the answer.

Ensure the answer is well-structured, coherent, and adheres to the word limit.