Gérard Mestrallet, the former CEO of Engie and ex-president of Suez, has been appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron as an emissary for the logistics integration corridor project between Europe and Asia, known as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec). This project aims to stimulate commercial relations between India, the Middle East, and Europe and serves as an alternative to the new “Chinese Silk Roads”. An agreement in principle has already been signed by several countries and the European Union, with the logistics corridor project expected to offer economic growth and a low-carbon transition.
The Imec project will take the form of a rail link and is expected to accelerate trade between India and Europe by 40%. In addition to this, 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 this project, especially in receiving hydrogen. As the first emissary designated among participating countries, Mestrallet’s mission is to identify ports, railway, and energy infrastructures to assess existing and forecast future flows. His main focus will be on positioning France as the main entry and exit point in Europe for the future corridor while diversifying sources of supply and strengthening economic, energy, and health security.
French companies are very interested in this project, which will provide them with opportunities for growth. Mestrallet will support these companies in positioning themselves for calls for tenders related to the Imec project. This appointment highlights Macron’s commitment to promoting France’s expertise in transportation and energy while positioning it as a key player in international trade relations.