EU investment strategy to compete with China's Belt and Road Initiative

The European Union is set to publish details of a worldwide investment plan that is largely considered as a competitor to China's Belt and Road effort, according to the BBC. It is seen as part of the West's efforts to oppose Chinese influence in Africa and other parts of the world. On Wednesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will unveil the "Global Gateway" programme.

According to sources, the EU is considering how it may leverage billions of euros from member states, financial institutions, and the private sector. "We want investments in quality infrastructure, connecting goods, people, and services around the world," Von der Leyen said in her State of the Union speech in September. The 14-page document released on Wednesday is unlikely to clearly position itself as a competitor to China's plan. The Commission also avoided naming China when questioned about the intentions on Tuesday, according to the newspaper.

The backdrop, though, is unavoidable, according to Andrew Small, a Senior Transatlantic Fellow at the German Marshall Fund: "Global Gateway wouldn't exist if Belt and Road didn't exist." According to the source, this is "the first significant effort from the European side to put packages together and figure out funding arrangements, so countries considering taking loans from China have an alternative."

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