G7 countries to counter China’s infra push in developing nations

Think we’ll feel this here in the Philippines, too?
by Drei Laurel | Jun 15, 2021
PHOTO: Department of Public Works and Highways on Facebook

The US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and European Union are pushing back against China’s Belt and Road initiative with a global infrastructure plan of its own.

The members of the Group of Seven (G7) has agreed on the Build Back Better World initiative (B3W)—a plan to counter China’s growing influence in developing nations and narrowing a global infrastructure gap made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a fact sheet, the White House shared that B3W “will be global in scope,” covering nations “from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific.” It lists down the initiative six guiding principles:

  1. Values-driven – “Infrastructure development carried out in a transparent and sustainable manner—financially, environmentally, and socially.”
  2. Good Governance and Strong Standards – “High standards have become ever more important at a time when governments are grappling with complex decisions on how to tackle climate change, build back local economies, direct scarce financing, and boost employment in an inclusive way.”
  3. Climate-friendly – “The investments will be made in a manner consistent with achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.”
  4. Strong Strategic Partnerships – “Infrastructure that is developed in partnership with those whom it benefits will last longer and generate more development impact.”
  5. Mobilize Private Capital Through Development FinanceInfrastructure investment by a responsible and market-driven private sector, paired with high standards and transparency in public funding, is crucial for long-run development effectiveness and sustainability.
  6. Enhancing the Impact of Multilateral Public FinanceWe will work with the IFIs [international financial institutions] to enhance their catalytic impact and increase the mobilization of capital—both public and private—needed for impactful and sustainable infrastructure investment.
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“In announcing this partnership, the United States and its G7 partners are expressing a unified vision for global infrastructure development,” the US government said, adding it intends to “mobilize the full potential of our development finance tools” like the US Trade and Development Agency and Development Finance Corporation.

Collectively, the G7 member countries and other stakeholders are expected to pour “hundreds of billions of dollars of infrastructure investment for low- and middle-income countries in the coming years.”

With the Indo-Pacific mentioned as one of the initiative’s key areas of interest, do you think we’ll feel it here in the Philippines, too?

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PHOTO: Department of Public Works and Highways on Facebook
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