G7 launches $600 billion global infrastructure project to counter China

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The plan, officially announced by US President Biden at the G7 summit, will target countries desperate for everything from roads to ports – and which until now have often relied on the Chinese.

Unlike China’s massive BRI initiative, the funding proposed by the G7 would largely come from private investors and is therefore unsecured. (AFP)

US President Joe Biden has announced a G7 plan to rival China’s formidable Belt and Road Initiative by raising some $600 billion for global infrastructure programs in poor countries.

“With G7 partners, we aim to mobilize $600 billion by 2027 in global infrastructure investment,” the White House said shortly before a speech by Biden unveiling the proposal.

The plan, reviving a first attempt unveiled at last year’s G7, will target countries desperate for everything from roads to ports – and which until now have often relied on the Chinese.

The gargantuan BRI project has successfully used Chinese infrastructure know-how to extend Beijing’s economic and diplomatic tentacles into strategic points around the world, leaving Western governments caught off guard.

Unlike the Chinese version, which relies on state-controlled funds and companies, Biden said the US and other G7 governments would only provide limited amounts of money, while encouraging massive investment. from the private sector.

By 2027, the U.S. government will hit the $600 billion figure “through grants, federal funding, and leveraging private sector investment,” the White House said.

“This will only be the beginning: the United States and its G7 partners will also seek to raise hundreds of billions in additional capital from other like-minded partners, multilateral development banks, development finance institutions , sovereign wealth funds, etc.

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‘Not too late’

The investment objective is clearly ambitious. And a senior US official has acknowledged that the West currently ranks second in global infrastructure.

Yet he denied that China has any real advantage.

“There is no doubt that the Belt and Road Initiative has been around for several years and has done a lot of cash disbursements and investments – and we are getting there after years of investments,” the manager said.

“But I would say it’s definitely not too late. And I’m not even sure it’s late.”

While the obvious targets for the US-led initiative are in Africa, South America and much of Asia are also on the radar.

The fallout from Russia’s incursion into Ukraine means “even places in Eastern Europe” could be brought in, the official said.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies

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