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As the tents rolled up on the G20 (+1) jamboree in New Delhi earlier this month, and a flurry of hugs and triumphant smiles greeted a blitzkrieg of flashing lights, a remarkable inter-continental trade alliance made its place in the world. The India-Middle East-Europe Economic corridor, or IMEC, which was soon dubbed the New Spice Route, is being seen as one of the biggest payouts of the season. It has been called historic, a game changer, and the White House has called it a project that will “usher in a new era of connectivity”.
It may well live up to the hyperbole. But the negotiating heft on display at the G20 tables is no guarantor of success. As accounts of