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EU prepares ‘alternative’ 300 billion euro investment programme for China’s ‘Belt and Road’ project

The European Union (EU) has prepared a 300 billion euro infrastructure investment programme in developing countries by 2027 as an “alternative” to China’s “Belt and Road” project

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen unveiled the EU’s new strategy, called the “Global Gateway”, at a press conference in Brussels.

Noting that the EU and member states will invest in quality infrastructure in a fair and sustainable manner within the scope of the strategy, von der Leyen said, “Currently, infrastructure investment options are very limited. The options available mostly include line breaks with major financial, political and social consequences,” he said.

“The Global Gateway is the EU’s investment plan and roadmap for improving infrastructure worldwide,” von der Leyen said, noting that countries need reliable partners for sustainable and quality projects.

Explaining that the plan is a democratic value-oriented approach, von der Leyen stressed that it would also contribute to the EU’s strategic interests in the world.

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“The Global Gateway will mobilize 300 billion euros by 2027. Global Gateway will invest to support green and digital transformation priorities worldwide.”

Von der Leyen stated that the plan is a common approach of the EU Commission, member states and European financial institutions, explaining that the private sector will also contribute to the process, adding that “countries that experience Chinese investments need better and different proposals.”

Stressing that the EU plan will be well managed, transparent and will not result in unsustainable levels of debt, von der Leyen said the Global Gateway is a “real alternative” to the China initiative.

EU investments will be directed to areas such as digital transformation, telecommunications, transport, energy and health

Under the plan, the EU would provide 300 billion euros in infrastructure investments by developing countries by 2027. This resource will be directed towards areas such as digital transformation, telecommunications, transport, energy and health. The EU will provide conditional financing for investments in those areas.

To receive investments, it will be necessary to comply with standards in various fields such as the rule of law, the environment, democracy, human rights.

How will EU funding be provided?

About 135 billion euros will come from EU sustainable development funds, 18 billion euros from the EU budget and 145 billion euros from various financial and development institutions in Europe.

China’s Belt and Road project aims to improve transport infrastructure between participating countries and strengthen political and economic ties between the countries. The project invests in major facilities such as iron, land and digital connections, bridges, oil and gas pipelines, logistics bases, power plants, airports and ports.

The EU plan is an alternative to China’s programme, and the Chinese program is said to have driven countries to unsustainable levels of debt.

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