A GLOBAL CONNECTIVITY STRATEGY TO SHAPE EU INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENTS
More than 60 participants from EIC and EFCA Member Federations and member companies joined on 11 March 2022 a Webinar on the EU Global Gateway initiative at which representatives from the European Commission, from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and from the French and German development financing agencies highlighted the impact of this new EU connectivity strategy for European international contractors and consultants.
Key take-aways included the streamlining of approval processes, anchoring sustainability aspects in the European financing and procurement DNA and catalysing more private investment through risk mitigation tools.
In order of their presentations, the following esteemed panellists contributed to a successful and fruitful discussion:
- Mr. Paolo Cicarelli, Head of Unit at DG INPTA, EU Commission, provided valuable insights into the EU Global Gateway Strategy and its key objectives. He further explained how Global Gateway will deliver physical infrastructure and enabling environments to attract additional investment. He concluded with an overview on the structure of underlying financing instruments, including the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD+) and the EU budget.
- Ms. Maria Shaw Barragan, Director of the Global Partners Department at the European Investment Bank (EIB), presented the EIB’s new Development Branch and its impact on EU-financed Infrastructure projects. She presented some of the pillar reforms of the bank and how the EIB aimed at tailoring its business models to partner countries as well as EU interests and the Green Deal objectives.
- Ms. Anne de Soucy, Director of Partnerships at the French development bank Agence Française de Développement (AFD) outlined how the AFD’s financing tools were contributing to the Global Gateway strategy on quality infrastructure. She stressed some key factors for quality projects, including feasibility studies and follow-up assistance in the implementation phase.
- Mr. Christian Krämer, Member of the Management Board of the KfW Development Bank familiarised participants with the KfW as partner of Europe’s development agenda and outlined how the three KfW units, KfW Development Bank, DEG and KfW IPEX Bank, were seeking to support the Team Europe Initiative and setting up an infrastructure pipeline for EFSD+-financed projects.
The EIC and EFCA Presidents, Benoît Chauvin and Benoît Clocheret, stressed the importance of integrated and high-quality project preparation and implementation which can offer clients and users of infrastructure projects value for money on the basis of the life cycle approach. They announced that EIC and EFCA would work together to propose joint solutions to development financiers and policy makers.