The European Union’s External Investment Plan: green light for the first five investment areas
The European Commission has defined concrete areas of investments for its External Investment Plan. The new plan will mobilise €44 billion of sustainable investment for Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries. The European Commission singles out five areas of investment, so-called “investment windows”, in which the first actions of the External Investment Plan (EIP) will be implemented. These investment areas are crucial for the sustainable development in countries in Africa and the EU Neighbourhood countries. The High Representative/ Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: “The European External Investment Plan is the largest ever investment programme for Africa. Today, only four per cent of global foreign direct investment goes to Africa. With the European External Investment Plan, we can raise at least €44 billion in private investment by 2020, notably for the most fragile parts of the continent. I hope and I expect that others will join this effort. This is a strong signal of the strengthened partnership with Africa as we are heading towards the AU/EU Summit next week”.Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica added: “With today’s decision we are setting the agenda for sustainable investments. Unlocking the potential of sustainable energy, promoting digitalisation for development or supporting micro, small and medium sized enterprises will help us to create sustainable development and reduce poverty, for the benefit of all.” Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn commented: “The investment windows represent real opportunity for many people and businesses in partner countries and in the European Union. Involving the private sector and securing the most conducive environment for it to flourish will contribute to sustainable growth, which is what we aim for. The External Investment Plan will bring tangible results for citizens across our Neighbourhood and beyond, contribute to job creation and greater competitiveness, stronger economy, governance, connectivity, and a stronger society.” The five investment windows include: “Sustainable Energy and Connectivity”, “Micro, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Financing”, “Sustainable Agriculture, Rural Entrepreneurs and Agribusiness”, “Sustainable Cities” and “Digital for Development”. Read the full press release here.