US aims to raise $200bn as part of G7 rival to China's Belt and Road

Published June 26, 2022
Visitors walk past a wall with a map showing the species of peony in Belt and Road Initiative countries, at horticultural exhibition Beijing Expo 2019, in Beijing, China, April 29, 2019. — Reuters/File
Visitors walk past a wall with a map showing the species of peony in Belt and Road Initiative countries, at horticultural exhibition Beijing Expo 2019, in Beijing, China, April 29, 2019. — Reuters/File

The United States aims to raise $200 billion in private and public funds over five years to fund needed infrastructure in developing countries under a G7 initiative aimed at countering China's multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project, the White House said on Sunday.

US President Joe Biden will unveil the plans, flanked by other Group of Seven leaders, some of whom have already unveiled their own separate initiatives, at their annual gathering being held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.

Increasingly worried about China, G7 leaders first floated plans for the project last year, and are formally launching it now under a fresh title, "Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment" while dropping the moniker "Build Back Better World" first coined by Biden during his presidential campaign.

Read more: Biden suggests rival plan to ‘Belt and Road’

Biden will unveil several specific projects at a G7 side event, joined by leaders from Britain, Germany, Japan, the European Union and Canada, vowing to focus on projects that help tackle climate change as well as improve global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure. Notably absent will be French President Emmanual Macron who had formally joined the Chinese infrastructure programme.

"The president's not thinking that we need to spend dollar for dollar versus China ... though if you add up what the US and the G7 partners are going to be announcing, it comes pretty close to the number," one senior US official told reporters.

The funds would be raised through grants, federal funds and by leveraging private-sector investments, the White House said, adding that hundreds of billions of additional dollars could come from multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, sovereign wealth funds and others.

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) scheme, which Chinese President Xi Jinping launched in 2013, involves development and investment initiatives in over 100 countries, with a range of projects including railways, ports and highways.

White House officials say Xi's plan to create a modern version of the ancient Silk Road trade route has provided little tangible benefit for many developing countries, with top jobs going to Chinese workers while increasing rates of forced and child labour.

Biden will highlight several flagship projects, including a $2bn solar development project in Angola with support from the Commerce Department, the US Export-Import Bank, US firm AfricaGlobal Schaffer and US project developer Sun Africa.

Together with G7 members and the EU, Washington will also provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal as it develops an industrial-scale flexible multi-vaccine manufacturing facility in that country that can eventually produce Covid-19 and other vaccines.

The US Agency for International Development will also commit up to $50m over five years to the World Bank’s new global Childcare Incentive Fund, a project aimed at addressing the gap in suitable childcare infrastructure.

Opinion

Editorial

Shared goals
Updated 16 Aug, 2022

Shared goals

It is high time that all parties realise that negotiation on the economy does not need to be held hostage to political rivalries.
Making amends?
16 Aug, 2022

Making amends?

WHERE relations with the US are concerned, there has been a distinct shift in Imran Khan’s tone. While the PTI...
Hazardous celebration
16 Aug, 2022

Hazardous celebration

CAN celebratory actions that often result in death or lifelong injuries really be described as such? Be it Eid, New...
Taliban anniversary
15 Aug, 2022

Taliban anniversary

A YEAR ago on this day, the Afghan Taliban rolled into Kabul as the Western-backed government fell like a house of...
Extreme measures
Updated 15 Aug, 2022

Extreme measures

Government has overreacted to a degree that has given ammunition to the PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’.
A depraved society
15 Aug, 2022

A depraved society

IF the extent of sexual violence against women and children is any measure of a society’s moral degradation, then ...