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Business News/ News / G20 Summit 2023: India, US, Saudi Arabia to discuss rail, port deal
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G20 Summit 2023: India, US, Saudi Arabia to discuss rail, port deal

US, Saudi Arabia, India, and other nations are discussing a possible infrastructure deal to link the Gulf and South Asia.

G20 Summit 2023: Talks for a potential infrastructure deal involving the US, Saudi Arabia, India, and other nations aims to counter China's Belt and Road initiative.Premium
G20 Summit 2023: Talks for a potential infrastructure deal involving the US, Saudi Arabia, India, and other nations aims to counter China's Belt and Road initiative.

United States, along with Saudi Arabia, India, and several other nations, have been engaged in discussions about a potential infrastructure deal that could reshape trade routes between the Gulf and South Asia. The plan involves connecting Middle Eastern countries through railways and linking them to India through ports, according to US officials.

While talks have been ongoing for months, they remain fluid, and it's uncertain whether they will yield a concrete agreement in time for an announcement during the Group of 20 (G20) leaders meeting this week.

Also read: G20 Summit 2023 Delhi LIVE Updates: Traffic curbs come into force in New Delhi. Check details

President Joe Biden is en route to the G20 conference in New Delhi, India, where he is scheduled to hold discussions with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and possibly meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The proposed multinational infrastructure deal holds significant strategic importance. Biden aims to position the United States as an alternative partner and investor in developing countries, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region, as a counter to China's Belt and Road global infrastructure initiative.

These discussions coincide with the Biden administration's broader diplomatic efforts in the Middle East, including negotiations for Saudi Arabia to recognise Israel. The potential infrastructure deal, which involves multiple countries, was first reported by Axios.

Also read: G20 Summit: PM Modi to hold more than 15 bilateral meetings with world leaders

In addition to its diplomatic implications, officials hope that such an infrastructure agreement could lead to reduced shipping times, lower costs, decreased diesel consumption, and faster, more cost-effective trade routes.

Saudi Arabia is also set to participate in an investment forum during the G20 event. According to the organiser, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, the forum will see the presence of India's Trade Minister Piyush Goyal and Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid al-Falih. 

Saudi Arabia is engaged in talks with Italy regarding potential Saudi investments in Rome's new strategic fund, with a focus on energy, sustainability, supply chains, and sports to expand its presence in Italy.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Published: 08 Sep 2023, 03:02 PM IST
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