Gérard Mestrallet, former CEO of Engie and ex-president of Suez, has been appointed by French President Emmanuel Macron as the 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 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 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%. It also includes the construction of an electric cable, a clean hydrogen pipeline, and a high-speed data cable. French President Macron hopes to position Marseille as the European “bridgehead” of the project, emphasizing the expertise of French companies in transportation and energy. 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.
French companies are very interested in this project. Mestrallet will support them in positioning themselves for calls for tenders related to port facilities such as receiving hydrogen at Marseille. Additionally, France is committed to diversifying sources of supply for future projects within this corridor while strengthening economic, energy, and health security across Europe.