The European Commission has launched its Global Gateway initiative – a programme that aims to mobilise up to EUR300 billion (USD340 billion) in investments between 2021 and 2027.

The aim is to help underpin the global recovery by mobilising investments in digital initiatives, clean energy and transport networks, as well as boosting health, education and research systems across the world.

“We will support smart investments in quality infrastructure, respecting the highest social and environmental standards, in line with the EU’s values and standards. The Global Gateway strategy is a template for how Europe can build more resilient connections with the world,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission.

The programme has been touted as an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Over the past few years, China has invested heavily in roads, railways and ports worldwide to forge new trade links and diplomatic ties. As of March 2021, 139 countries had signed up to Beijing’s initiative, accounting for 40 percent of global GDP, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank.