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Will India-Middle East Food Corridor get a renewed push with Netanyahu’s return?

All eyes on global food supplies: Will the India-Middle East Food Corridor get a push?

Benjamin Netanyahu’s comeback as Israel’s Prime Minister is expected to give a push to the proposed India-Middle East Food Corridor being developed jointly by India, UAE and Israel. The India-Middle East Food Corridor —a new supply chain will augment food supply using the West Asia value chain amid supply shock driven by the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The contours of the corridor were discussed at length at the I2U2 summit between India, Israel, the UAE, and the United States held in July.

While the project has been an ongoing one since 2019 drawing massive investments, analysts said that it could get a further push from Israel.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Netanyahu share a warm relationship. Modi was the first Indian PM to have visited Israel in July 2017.

“Though the project has been progressing we can expect a renewed push with Netanyahu coming back,” an analyst said.

News organisation Atalayar said the three Asian powers are working on the creation of a food corridor linking India – the world’s second largest wheat producer after China – with the Middle East region in order to avoid the repercussions of new global crises, guarantee food security in the Gulf and increase the value of India’s food production.

The corridor is expected to create 200,000 jobs across India.

India’s Ambassador to Russia Pavan Kapoor, who also served as envoy to UAE earlier said that India would closely with the UAE in its quest for food security.

“We want to assure our Emirati friends not only will we continue to be a reliable partner, but in fact want to work much harder to realise the full potential in this area,” Kapoor had said.

Several West Asian companies have already committed to large investments into the estimated $7 billion project. About 70 per cent of these investments have been earmarked for developing mega-food parks in various Indian states including Jammu and Kashmir. Middle East retailer Abu Dhabi based LuLu Group is already looking to invest Rs 200 crore to set up a food processing plant in J&K.

The Middle East Institute (MEI) in a report said that although the US is becoming a participant through the I2U2 format, the strategic power of the India-Middle East Food Corridor derives from the fact that it developed organically among the three Asian countries themselves, through private sector, joint venture investments carefully cultivated via bilateral public-private partnerships. “Although not requiring Washington as a benefactor, the United States’ participation in the corridor could prove beneficial as the U.S. seeks to bolster its presence in the strategic architecture of the Indo-Pacific,” it said.

Also read: All About I2U2 India Israel US UAE Bloc

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