The European Union is gearing up to reveal its 40 billion euros (US$45.9 billion) infrastructure investment strategy next week. The goal of the strategy is to increase its technology and infrastructure spending as part of the West’s counter and rival to China’s Belt and Road program.
A draft sighted by Bloomberg revealed that the EU’s “Global Gateway” strategy will prioritize digital, transport, energy, and trade projects. The strategy is expected to boost Europe’s influence and competitiveness across the globe, while also furthering sustainable environmental standards and values as regards democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.
The strategy comes on the heels of a U.S.-led agreement reached during July’s Group of Seven (G7) summit where leaders resolved to launch a global infrastructure project called Build Back Better World to help bridge the widening infrastructure gap in the developing countries and also to offer a suitable competition to rival China’s ambitious initiatives.
Analysts argue that any move by the U.S. or the EU to counter Beijing’s massive trillion-dollar project to fund infrastructure projects across the developing countries is already way behind schedule and will require a great struggle to measure up. The Biden administration has stated that it hopes, by insisting on transparency and offering suitable options to the onerous debt financing required by the Chinese, to attract the interest of existing China partners.
According to the document, the Global Gateway plan will “provide an umbrella brand for the already extensive EU investment in infrastructure worldwide.” It will also make for better cooperation between member states, expand cooperation with international and regional partners and extend the reach of its funding plan.
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