Gérard Mestrallet, former CEO of Engie and ex-president of Suez, has been appointed as emissary for the logistics integration corridor project between Europe and Asia, known as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec). The project aims to stimulate commercial relations between India, the Middle East, and Europe and is an alternative to the new “Chinese Silk Roads”. An agreement in principle has already been signed by several countries and the European Union.
Macron hopes to position Marseille as the European “bridgehead” of the project. He emphasizes France’s expertise in transportation and energy. As the first emissary designated among participating countries, Mestrallet will identify ports, railway, and energy infrastructures to assess existing and forecast future flows. He will also position France as a 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.
The Imec project will take the form of a rail link that 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. The port of Marseille may play a significant role in receiving hydrogen. French companies are very interested in this project. Mestrallet will support them in positioning themselves for calls for tenders.