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EU investment plan to boost digital technology

[FRANKFURT] The European Commission's investment drive to boost the region's economy will include a double-digit billion euros of spending on digital technology, EU Digital Economy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told a German magazine.

He said talks with telecom groups, authorities, local communities and investors about expanding digital networks would start next year. "It will be about the questions of who will do what and how the expansion can be financed. A double-digit billion euro amount qualifies for this as part of the EU's investment package," he told German magazine Focus in an excerpt of an article to be fully published on Monday.

Last month, The European Commission presented a US$369 billion plan to boost Europe's stagnant economy. However, some analysts doubted private investors would stump up the funds needed to make it work.

The EU is setting aside just 8 billion euros(S$13 billion) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) 5 billion to help provide capital for the special fund to be managed with the European Investment Bank.

The cash, designed to tempt in private investors, could multiply into 300 billion euros of investment over the next three years to create a million jobs.