Global Gateway Forum 2023 has brought together the most senior representatives of governments from the European Union and from around the world, along with the private sector, civil society, leading thinkers, financing institutions, and international organisations in a two-day, invitation only event in Brussels on 25 and 26 October 2023.
Global Gateway Forum 2023 was opened by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen (pictured above) who outlined the aims and objectives of the Global Gateway Initiative, and touched upon the methodology of achieving both.
Macky Sall, President of Senegal, then spoke about his country’s ambitions for closer relations with the EU, highlighting the economic benefits to all parties of new transport infrastructure. The 3523 kilometre Beira–Lobito Trans-African Corridor, for example, also known as Trans-African Highway 9, will bring benefits to no less than six African states.
One of the topics for discussion during Global Gateway Forum is how can Europe best engage with partners to deliver the Corridor.
Secure supply chains to ensure reliable access to critical raw materials are not only of economic benefit, but are also a prerequisite for the green and digital transitions that are central to the Global Gateway initiative.
President Sall also touched on health needs, and in particular how Africa can produce much needed medicines locally. He is due to discuss the matter during the forum with Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organisation.
Edi Rama, Prime Minister of Albania, now in his third term, the only Albanian Prime Minister to achieve this, spoke about his country’s future accession to the EU.
Albania applied for EU membership on April 24th 2009 and was granted EU candidate status in June 2014. The EU held its first intergovernmental conference with Albania in July 2022.
Prime Minister Rama told participants in the forum that EU membership would be “a legacy to leave for our children.”
On a recent visit to Tirana, Ursula von der Leyen told Prime Minister Rama “Albania is on track to join the European Union. As you know, enlargement is at the top of our priorities. This is actually where it belongs. Because we want our partners and neighbours to join and make our Union complete.”
Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, currently in her second term, spoke passionately about the achievements of her country. Bangladesh currently has one of the highest GDP growth rates in the world, outstripping the EU, the UK, and the United States, an incredible achievement by any standards.
“Bangladesh is now the world’s 35th largest economy.
“Our 70-billion-dollar economy has grown into 465 billion in less than 15 years.
“We have lifted millions of our people out of poverty. Extreme poverty has come down to 5.6% from 25.1% in 2006. Bangladesh is set to graduate from UN LDC status in 2026,” – Sheikh Hasina.
She told delegates of the struggles within the country during the earlier years of independence.
Her own father, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first President of Bangladesh, and revered as the Father of the Nation, along with 18 other members of Sheikh Hasina’s family, was assassinated by renegade army officers in August 1975. Only Sheikh Hasina and her sister, who were in Europa at the time, survived.
Sheikh Hasina herself has since survived numerous attempts on her life.
Her emotional words ended with a heartfelt plea to world leaders for peace, earning her rapturous applause from the delegates.
The opening session of the forum closed with a message of goodwill from Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Finally, in a pre-recorded video, Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan and current Chair of the Group of Seven (G7) gave a message of support to the forum.
After the opening plenary session, Viet Nam and the European Investment Bank signed a memorandum of understanding to support the implementation of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in Viet Nam, signifying a mutual commitment to put in place a multi-projects credit facility worth €500 million.
Once this credit facility is finalised and inked in the near term, it will establish a framework loan that will finance projects supporting decarbonisation and energy transition.
In addition, the EU will make available €16.6 million in technical assistance for Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to support Electricity Viet Nam (EVN) in the preparation and implementation of projects linked to JETP.
The technical assistance facility will accompany a total of €1 billion sovereign and non-sovereign loans provided by Team Europe (AFD, KfW and EIB).
Global Gateway Forum 2023 will close on Thursday 26th at 12.30.
News Source: Link