Deva: EU aid plan will boost international trade

Mar 14, 2017


The EU’s new approach to development is predicted to produce “a plethora of trade deals” in the coming years.

ECR MEP Nirj Deva said the use of EU development funding to leverage private sector finance and expertise through involvement in public-private partnerships and by helping small businesses bring projects to market, would boost the economies of developing countries. This in turn should increase trade and create opportunities across the globe.

Addressing a conference of Commonwealth trade ministers at a conference in London, Mr Deva, Vice-Chairman of the European Parliament’s Development Committee, said: “It is my belief that by creating new jobs, new products and new wealth will not only increase intra African, intra ACP and intra Commonwealth trade, but enable these nations to trade across the globe with the emerging giants of the BRIC nations and of course the UK and the EU.

“I anticipate a plethora of new trade deals.”

Last year the European Parliament adopted Mr Deva’s Legislative Act “Private Sector Investments in Development”, which switched the EU’s focus away from sending grants to developing countries and instead using aid to encourage further investment. Already €4.1 billion of EU aid has leveraged €62 billion of investment funds.

“Eventually the total aid budget, previously handed out as grants of €23 billion a year, will be leveraged into €300 billion of Investments,” Mr Deva added. “That’s a huge amount, a modern Marshall Plan for developing countries.

“Instead of giving people fish to feed them, we are giving them nets and teaching them to fish.”