Statement by President von der Leyen on the occasion of the launch of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment at the G7 Leaders’ Summit

Thank you very much Joe, Mr President,

Thank you Olaf, Herr Bundeskanzler,

We have just tried to overcome a global pandemic. And it shook the global economy. And then, as the global economy was just recovering, Russia’s vicious attack on Ukraine happened, driving prices up everywhere, from food to energy, and casting deep uncertainty, especially in the most fragile countries.

These are very severe challenges. We will tackle them head-on. And this is why G7 partners are gathered here. But this must not and it will not divert us away from our affirmative agenda to show the world that democracies, when they work together, provide the single best path to deliver results for our people and people all over the world, on climate, on health security, and on digital innovation.

And indeed last November at COP26 – thank you again, Boris, for the initiative – we announced our plans to step up globally investments in climate-positive infrastructure. This was our response to the commitment we made at Carbis Bay. And I will never forget the start of this initiative at Glasgow, together with you, Joe, and you, Boris. It was the beginning of a success story. Today, the world needs these investments more than ever. And that is what the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment is all about.

So now, what should we do? We should work side by side. And this is the one and only way to maximise the potential of our investments and to demonstrate the power of development finance when it reflects democratic values, that is transparency, inclusivity and sustainability; when it embraces high standards for the environment and for the workers; and when it mobilises the private sector. That is what success looks like.

On our side, Europe’s response to the world’s investment gap is Global Gateway. It is going to be under the roof of the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment. It is the Team Europe approach. And to the USD 200 billion that have just been announced by the President of the United States, Team Europe is mobilising EUR 300 billion until 2027, from both public and private sources. EUR 300 billion for sustainable quality infrastructure and also for health infrastructure. Investments that are transparent and that improve everyday lives and bring real benefit for the communities on the ground.

Global Gateway is fully at work and we are listening closely to the recipient countries so that we can better understand their needs and deliver the biggest impact. We already have many great examples to share. Some of them have already been mentioned. The mRNA vaccine manufacturing plants, for example. We just extended this successful programme to Latin America, too. But for example, there is also the Great Green Wall, a project for food security and land restoration on the continent. Or take the submarine fibre optic cable, Ella, linking Europe to Latin America; the upcoming clean hydrogen project with Egypt, Namibia and Chile; and, for example, constructing a port to connect Christmas Island in the South Pacific to the rest of the world.

These are projects in the right direction of travel. They are designed and implemented in full consultation and partnership with the countries and populations concerned. Because that is our way to do business. So my point is: We need to see more of these projects get off the ground in every corner of the Earth. And for this, we really need as democracies to pull our common weight.

The European Union and Japan, for example, are already doing that, dear Fumio, as part of our Connectivity Partnership. Or South Africa has been mentioned, where all G7 are supporting the just energy transition. And we will continue our work and do more projects together. We will optimise our collective power because it is up to us to give a positive, powerful investment impulse to the world to show our partners in the developing world that they have a choice and that we intend to step up in solidarity to meet their development needs.

In doing so, we will show once again that democracies are prepared and meet the moment. Therefore, my dear friends, let us continue the good work.

Thank you.