Date: 27.06.2024

New Silk Road will link the Gulf to Europe

Turkey, Qatar, and the UAE are joining with Iraq to develop a new land corridor – Development Road Project – which will connect the Gulf to Europe.

The Development Road Project is a multi-billion dollar land corridor that will stretch 750 miles from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea, establishing a network with railways, roads, ports and cities, to significantly reduce travel time between Asia and Europe via Turkey.

Estimates for the costs of the Development Road Project range from $8 billion to $15 billion, and possibly up to $20 billion, which may be financed by the UAE, Qatar, or another country, with the entire project expected to be completed within five years, once the funding is secured.

In May 2023, Baghdad hosted a summit which brought together transport ministers and officials from the European Union, the World Bank, GCC, Iran, Turkey, Syria and Jordan to discuss the establishment of the Development Road initiative.

The Development Road, dubbed the “Iraqi Silk Road”, gained further attention during the G20 Summit in New Delhi last September, when the project was discussed as an alternative route to the Suez Canal, to aid faster and more efficient trade between Asia and Europe.

The project is expected to turn Iraq into a transit hub and compete with Egypt’s Suez Canal, strengthening Iraq’s geopolitical position in the region and the world, while supporting security and stability in the region.

In April 2024, a quadrilateral memorandum of understanding, regarding cooperation in the Development Road project was signed by the transportation ministers of Iraq, Turkey, Qatar and UAE, with railways and highways connecting to Iraq’s Great Faw Port, aimed to be the largest port in the Middle East.

The project is planned to be completed in three stages by 2028, 2033 and 2050 and will open Iraq to the world through Turkey. It will generate $4 billion annually and create at least 100,000 jobs.

We will keep you advised and updated as this initiative proceeds, sharing any important developments and seeking market opportunities as they materialise.

If you have any questions or concerns about the ‘new Silk Road’, or would like to discuss the potential implications and benefits of this initiative, please EMAIL our Chief Commercial Officer, Andy Smith.