The launch of Global Gateway reflects growing concerns in the US and EU over China’s more assertive foreign policy and BRI’s expansion into Europe.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that an EU-US conference will be held to coordinate efforts on value-based international investment.
She said the meeting, along with US President Joe Biden, will “drive forward a values-based investment agenda for the world” as she spoke to EU ambassadors at their annual conference in Brussels on Wednesday.
The collaboration would complement the EU’s Global Gateway Initiative. It is a connectivity strategy that the European Union (EU) unveiled in December 2021 with the intention of building efficient, sustainable and secure connections with nations around the world.
It will impact the future of business by investing in supporting infrastructure that is seen as a symbol of a changing world.
In an effort to challenge China’s unprecedented $1 trillion in infrastructure investments in numerous economies around the world, the project intends to increase the union’s influence.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is the country’s main geopolitical tool for bolstering its soft power and realizing its ambitions. The project aims to connect China and other nations economically through ports, trains and other infrastructure.
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The Global Gateway program places great emphasis on democratic principles, ethical leadership and openness, fair cooperation and environmentally responsible infrastructure.
The Commission states that it will “invest in international stability and cooperation and show how democratic values provide security and fairness for investors, sustainability for partners and long-term benefits for people around the world”, which can only be seen as an EU signature a clear contrast to the Chinese model.
The EU says it would offer partners solid financial terms including grants, favorable loans and budget guarantees to lower investment risks and improve debt sustainability, another criticism of the Chinese strategy.
This appears to be a reference to claims that China is engaging in “debt trap diplomacy,” a strategy that has become known as “predatory lending” to gain influence over the countries in which it finances projects.
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But China argues that the Belt and Road initiative, like the Global Gateway, is an attempt on its part to help developing countries access the funds needed for major infrastructure projects.
China denies allegations that it engages in such malicious tactics.
Numerous nations, including some EU members, also support the BRI, including Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg and Poland, which have joined the BRI.
The UK’s Center for Economics and Business Research has revealed the project could add $7.1 trillion to global GDP annually through 2040.
The EU’s launch of Global Gateway reflects its growing concerns about China’s more assertive foreign policy and the expansion of BRI to Europe.
But the global gateway has also been criticized for choosing to rebrand ongoing programs rather than allocating extra money to networking initiatives.
This raises the possibility that the program will become more of a collection of projects than a comprehensive connectivity plan utilizing additional funding.
Source: TRT World