torsdag 2. desember 2021

EU launches €300bn bid to challenge Chinese influence

The EU has revealed details of a €300bn (£255bn; $340bn) global investment plan, described as a "true alternative" to China's Belt and Road strategy. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the Global Gateway scheme should become a trusted brand. China has funded rail, roads and ports but has been accused of leaving some countries saddled with debt.

The Commission chief said countries need "trusted partners" to design projects that were sustainable.The EU is looking at how it can leverage billions of euros, drawn from member states, financial institutions and the private sector. This will largely take the form of guarantees or loans, rather than grants. Mrs von der Leyen said the EU wanted to show that a different, democratic approach could deliver on projects that focused on tackling climate change as well as global health security and sustainable development for developing countries.

Projects had to be of high quality, with a high level of transparency and good governance, and had to deliver tangible results for the countries involved, she explained. One EU official told the BBC that Africa would be a major focus of the scheme.