WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States aims to raise $200 billion in private and public funds over five years to finance needed infrastructure in developing countries as part of a G7 initiative to counter the Belt Project and multi-billion dollar road trip from China, the White House announced 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 to be held this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany. .
Growing worried about China, G7 leaders first outlined plans for the project last year and are officially launching it under a new title, “Global Infrastructure and Investment Partnership.” while ditching the “Building a Better World” moniker first coined by Biden during his presidential campaign.
Biden will unveil several specific projects at a G7 side event, joined by leaders from Britain, Germany, Japan, the European Union and Canada, pledging to focus on projects that help fight climate change as well as improve global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure. . French President Emmanuel Macron, who had officially joined the Chinese infrastructure program, will notably be absent.
“The president doesn’t think we should be spending dollar for dollar against China…although if you add up what the US and G7 partners are going to announce, it comes pretty close to the number,” a senior US official said. . journalists.
The funds would be raised through grants and federal funds, and by leveraging private sector investment, the White House said, adding that hundreds of billions more could come from multilateral development banks, institutions development finance, sovereign wealth funds and others.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which Chinese President Xi Jinping launched in 2013, involves development and investment initiatives in more than 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 few tangible benefits for many developing countries, the best jobs being attributed to Chinese workers, while increasing the rates of forced labor and child labor.
Biden will highlight several flagship projects, including a $2 billion solar development project in Angola with support from the Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, U.S.-based AfricaGlobal Schaffer and project developer American Sun Africa.
Working with G7 members and the EU, Washington will also provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal, as it develops a flexible multi-vaccine manufacturing facility at the industrial scale in this country that will eventually be able to produce COVID-19 and other vaccines. .
Child Care Challenge Fund
The U.S. Agency for International Development will also commit up to $50 million over five years to the World Bank’s new Global Child Care Incentive Fund, a project to address the lack of child care infrastructure. adapted child care.