Highlights:

  • European Commission disclosed a proposal to invest around $340 billion globally by 2027
  • The Investment is seen as a better alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative
  • China introduced its Belt and Road project in 2013

On Wednesday, the European Commission disclosed a proposal to invest around $340 billion globally by 2027 in areas pertaining to infrastructure, digital and climate projects as a better alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The scheme, named Global Gateway, is aimed to boost Europe’s supply chains, strengthen EU trade and help fight climate change, concentrating on digitalization, health, climate and energy and transport sectors including education and research.

China introduced its Belt and Road project in 2013 to strengthen trade links with the rest of the world and has been spending heavily on the development of infrastructure in dozens of countries around the world.

Nevertheless, EU officials noted that financing offered by Beijing is often unfavorable, not transparent, and makes some poorer countries, like Africa, dependent on China through debt. Contrasting China, the EU would make sure that the local communities are advanced from the infrastructure project under Global Gateway and look forward to bringing the private sector with it.

Ursula von der Leyen, who is the European Commission head stated, “Indeed, countries…need better and different offers (to China’s initiative)”. While disclosing the scheme, she defined it as “a true alternative”.

Reportedly, EU money, in form of grants, loans and guarantees, will come from the bloc’s institutions, governments, as well as EU financial institutions and national development banks. Furthermore, it would be provided “under fair and favorable terms” in an attempt not to leave governments of third countries with a debt problem, according to the commission.

Jutta Urpilainen, EU International Partnerships Commissioner, voiced that the amount of money the EU was spending on development aid was similar to China.

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