EU includes Ukraine in investment plan to develop digital economy

The EU has included Ukraine in its European digital economy development investment plan, Reuters reported, quoting Guenther Oettinger, the European Union commissioner responsible for the issue.

”Investments of EUR 600-700 billion ($670-780 billion) are needed in the European area, according to our calculations,” Oettinger told a panel at the European Alpbach forum, an annual conference in Austria, according to the report.

This included investments in Switzerland, Ukraine and the western Balkans, which are part of the pan-European infrastructure, he said.

Investment in its digital infrastructure will enable Europe to catch up with the United States and China, according to the European commissioner.

In this regard, Oettinger stressed the importance of developing fiber-optic networks and next-generation high-speed 5G wireless applications.

”If Europe can`t develop fiber-optic networks and next-generation high-speed 5G wireless applications and networks fast enough, we will lose, because important technological applications will not be possible any longer in our industry,” Reuters quoted Oettinger as saying.

As UNIAN reported earlier, during a visit to Ukraine in late July 2016 Oettinger stated that Ukraine would become the first strategic partner of the EU digital community, apart from the EU countries.

Further, Ukraine`s Economic Development and Trade Minister Stepan Kubiv said he believes that joining the EU digital community will allow Ukraine to attract some EUR 5 billion, in the medium term.

He noted that the EU digital community would unite 28 EU countries and six Eastern Partnership countries, including Ukraine, in a bid to introduce common standards, as well as the liberalization and control of the digital market. The first meeting of the Ukrainian working group on Ukraine`s accession to the EU digital community will take place in September. The meeting will outline specific requirements and tasks to be fulfilled by the Ukrainian government in the near future.

After that, the next meeting of the working group is scheduled in Brussels (Belgium) in October, during which it will develop a detailed step-by-step action plan for Ukraine, according to Kubiv.

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