EU foreign ministers approve infrastructure investment plan to boost ties with Asia

EU foreign ministers approve infrastructure investment plan to boost ties with Asia

Today, foreign ministers from the EU’s 28-member states are expected to approve an infrastructure investment programme that is aimed at

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Photo: Reuters

Today, foreign ministers from the EU’s 28-member states are expected to approve an infrastructure investment programme that is aimed at boosting economic links with Asia.

The proposed plan would see the European Commission develop a platform to guide investment into Asia’s energy, transport and digital infrastructure sectors. A combination of public funds from the EU common budget, private funds, as well as assistance from European development banks will be used to finance the programme, with the aim of raising hundreds of billions of euros for investment in the 2020’s.

The EU has denied that this infrastructure plan is aimed at countering Chinese influence in the wider region, or that it is influenced by efforts throughout EU capitals to restrict Chinese inbound investment into sensitive sectors. Regardless, it remains unlikely that the EU plan will have any impact on countering the significantly larger scale and existing capacity of China’s Belt and Road Initiative. However, the possibility of an insurance fund to protect investors from project failure could make the EU led initiative a more appealing alternative.

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