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Speech by Minister Antonio Tajani at the seminar “Global Gateway EU and Private Sector – Challenges and Opportunities for the Italian Economic System”

Il Ministro Antonio Tajani interviene al seminario “Global Gateway Ue e Settore Privato – Sfide e opportunità per il sistema Italia”
Il Ministro Antonio Tajani interviene al seminario “Global Gateway Ue e Settore Privato – Sfide e opportunità per il sistema Italia”

The Italian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Antonio Tajani, spoke at the plenary session of the seminar “Global Gateway EU and Private Sector – Challenges and Opportunities for the Italian Economic System”, as organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in agreement with the EU Commission and in cooperation with the Italian Trade Agency.

The plenary session was also attended by the European Commissioners in charge of International Partnerships and neighbourhood policies (from remote), the President of the Italian Trade Agency, Matteo Zoppas, and bodies and institutions for the internationalisation of the Italian Economic System.

Following that, three round tables were held on Transport and Infrastructure, Climate and Energy, and Digital Technology, which were attended by officials from Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the European Commission as well as leading Italian companies.

Global Gateway is the EU strategy aimed at mobilising and leveraging public and private investments in infrastructure connections between the EU and its partners, which was launched in December 2021 in pursuit of strategic autonomy and the progressive differentiation of supply chains. The geographical areas covered are the Western Balkans, Eastern Partnership and Southern Neighbourhood countries, Africa, Central Asia, ASEAN, Latin America and the Caribbean.

The five priority sectors for Global Gateway investments are Digital Technology, Climate and Energy, Transport, Health, Education and Research.

With the Global Gateway, the EU is offering an alternative development model – one that is attentive to the green transition, regulations, the labour market, and the promotion of sustainable development – to that of its international competitors, as achieved through higher-quality investments discussed and implemented in agreement with the partner countries and in a manner that limits the debt risks for beneficiaries.

A total of EUR 300 billion is expected to be raised through the Global Gateway by leveraging the instruments of the 2021/2027 European Financial Framework. The strategy will combine public resources from the EU, its Member States, financial institutions and multilateral development banks, while also aiming to attract private capital, following the approach of Team Europe Initiatives. Priority will be given to grants and budgetary guarantees, reducing risks for private investors without replacing them and improving debt sustainability.

Italy strongly supports the EU Global Gateway Strategy. From the Italian perspective, particular attention should be paid to the Southern Neighbourhood and Africa. Moreover, the paradigm of equal partnership should be developed first and foremost with regard to the relationship with African countries, in line with the philosophy and framework of the Mattei Plan. The broader European framework can be an important and coherent multiplier, a device for expanding Italian initiatives and projects promoted in Africa in the context and according to the approach of the Mattei Plan. Indeed, the Mattei Plan is in line with the EU Global Gateway Strategy.

The Global Gateway focuses on physical infrastructure – such as fibre optic cables, transport corridors, clean energy transmission lines – to strengthen digital, transport and energy networks, taking an ethical approach so that “infrastructure projects do not create unsustainable debt or unwanted dependencies.” It will also create an environment conducive to project implementation by offering favourable business conditions, regulatory convergence, standardisation, integration of supply chains and financial services.

The participation of private capital is crucial, both for the characteristics of the Global Gateway and for achieving the expected level of investment. The EU private sector is already active in Global Gateway sectors, but may have an interest in being supported in its relations with partner country authorities, thus making its own investment projects more attractive.

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