Global Initiatives & Developing Nations

Global Gateway

The new European Strategy to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport and strengthen health, education and research systems across the world. It stands for sustainable and trusted connections that work for people and the planet, to tackle the most pressing global challenges, from climate change and protecting the environment, to improving health security and boosting competitiveness and global supply chains. Global Gateway aims to mobilise up to €300 billion in investments between 2021 and 2027 to underpin a lasting global recovery, taking into account our partners needs and EU’s own interests.

Global Gateway is about increasing investments promoting democratic values and high standards, good governance and transparency, equal partnerships, green and clean, secure infrastructures and that catalyse private sector investment.

Through a Team Europe approach, Global Gateway will bring together the EU, Member States with their financial and development institutions, including the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and seek to mobilise the private sector in order to leverage investments for a transformational impact. The EU Delegations around the world, working with Team Europe on the ground, will play a key role to identify and coordinate Global Gateway projects in partner countries.

Belt Road Initiative(BRI)

The BRI is an ambitious plan to develop two new trade routes connecting China with the rest of the world. But the initiative is about far more than infrastructure. It is an effort to develop an expanded, interdependent market for China, grow China’s economic and political power, and create the right conditions for China to build a high technology economy.

Why?

China’s rivalry with US is a Big Reason. The vast majority of Chinese international trade passes by sea through the Malacca strait off the coast of Singapore which is a major US ally. The initiative is integral to China’s efforts to create its own more secure trade routes. There is no doubt that China’s intention is also to make participating nations interdependent with the Chinese economy, and thereby build economic and political influence for China.

Significance

The Belt and Road is seen as a crucial element in the Chinese government’s efforts to stimulate economies of the country’s central provinces, which historically lag behind richer coastal areas. The government uses the Belt and Road to encourage and support businesses in these central regions, allocating budget generously, and encouraging businesses to compete for Belt and Road contracts.

The Belt & Road

The Silk Road Economic ‘Belt’ element refers to plans for a revitalized series of ancient overland trading routes connecting Europe and Asia to be built largely with Chinese expertise. The idea was first proposed by Chinese president Xi Jinping during a visit to Kazakhstan in 2013, and central Asia is seen as the most vital region for the ‘Belt’ element.

In 2014 Xi Jinping outlined plans to additionally establish new sea trade infrastructure along the old Marco Polo route – a maritime silk road connecting China, Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe. This would be a longer route avoiding the Malacca Strait, incorporating fueling stations, ports, bridges, industry, and infrastructure through Southeast Asia and into the Indian Ocean. Pakistan is seen as perhaps the most crucial partner country in this effort through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor project.

The Debt Trap

‘Debt trap diplomacy’ is the accusation that China uses Belt and Road as part of a manipulative global strategy, funding major infrastructure projects in developing nations with unsustainable loans, then using the debt to gain leverage over those governments. The accusation was sparked by projects such as the Hambantota Port Development in Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan government was unable to service the Chinese loans which funded the project, and the port was handed to the Chinese on a 99-year lease in 2017 – echoing tactics employed by 19th century European Imperialists against Qing dynasty China. The port provides the Chinese with a major new piece of infrastructure and a strategic foothold in the Indian Ocean.

Facts

  • China has signed cooperative documents with 126 countries and 29 international organizations.
  • The China-Europe freight trains, connecting China with 50 cities in 15 countries, carried out more than 14,000 trips by the end of March.
  • The goods trade volume between China and countries involved in the initiative surpassed $6 trillion from 2013 to 2018, with an average annual growth rate of 4 percent.
  • Chinese companies’ direct investment in countries involved in the initiative surpassed $90 trillion from 2013 to 2018, with an average annual growth rate of 5.2 percent.
  • Silk Road e-commerce is becoming a new channel for economic and trade cooperation between countries. China has established the bilateral e-commerce cooperation mechanism with 17 countries.