As part of his efforts to strengthen France’s position as a global economic power, French President Emmanuel Macron has appointed Gérard Mestrallet, former CEO of Engie and ex-president of Suez, as emissary for the logistics integration corridor project between Europe and Asia. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (Imec) is designed to serve as an alternative to the new “Chinese Silk Roads” and promote commercial relations between India, the Middle East, and Europe.
Macron hopes that the Imec project will provide a low-carbon transition while offering economic growth to participating countries. To this end, the project will take the form of a rail link, with construction plans including an electric cable, clean hydrogen pipeline, and high-speed data cable. The goal is to accelerate trade between India and Europe by 40%.
As the first emissary designated among participating countries, Mestrallet’s mission is to identify ports, railway, and energy infrastructures to assess existing flows and forecast future ones. In particular, he will focus on Marseille as a potential entry point for hydrogen supply in France. He will also work with French companies to position them for calls for tenders in relation to the project’s various components.
Macron believes that this project will help diversify sources of supply for European countries while enhancing economic security through increased trade with India and other Asian partners. This alignment with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is seen as a strategic move by Macron’s government. The French government has expressed its interest in establishing partnerships with other European nations in order to further support this initiative.
Overall, Gérard Mestrallet’s appointment marks an important step towards realizing this ambitious goal of creating a new logistics integration corridor between Europe and Asia that supports sustainable economic growth while promoting environmental sustainability.