India-Middle East-Europe corridor is economic game changer: Sitharaman

New Delhi, Feb 1 (UNI) Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday described the recently announced India-Middle East-Europe economic corridor as a “strategic and economic game changer”.

“The recently announced India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor is a strategic and economic game changer for India and others,” Sitharaman said in her speech while presenting the Interim budget 2024-25 in the Lok Sabha here.

Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement, Sitharaman said, “Corridor will become the basis of world trade for hundreds of years to come, and history will remember that this corridor was initiated on Indian soil.”

The Minister said, geopolitically, global affairs are becoming more complex and challenging with wars and conflicts.

She noted that globalisation is being redefined with reshoring and friend-shoring, disruption and fragmentation of supply chains, and competition for critical minerals and technologies. A new world order is emerging after the COVID-19 pandemic, she added.

“India assumed the G20 Presidency during very difficult times for the world,” the Minister said highlighting that the global economy was going through high inflation, high interest rates, low growth, very high public debt, low trade growth, and climate challenges.

The pandemic had led to a crisis of food, fertiliser, fuel and finances for the world, while India successfully navigated its way. The country showed the way forward and built consensus on solutions for those global problems, she added.

The Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow during 2014-23 was USD 596 billion marking a golden era, she said adding, “It is twice the inflow during 2005-14.”

The Minister further said, “For encouraging sustained foreign investment, we are negotiating bilateral investment treaties with our foreign partners, in the spirit of ‘first develop India’.”

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