The group of seven leaders (G7) has pledged to raise $600 billion in private and public funds over the next five years in other to finance needed infrastructure in developing countries and counter China’s older, multitrillion-dollar Belt and Road project. This year’s G7 gathering is holding at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.
President Biden said “I want to be clear. This isn’t aid or charity. It’s an investment that will deliver returns for everyone,” Biden said, adding that it would allow countries to “see the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies.”
The US has pledged $200 billion in grants, federal funds and private investment over five years to support projects in low- and middle-income countries. Countries that help tackle climate change as well as improve global health, gender equity and digital infrastructure.
President Biden highlighted several flagship projects, including a $2 billion solar development project in Angola. Moreso, with the help G7 members and the EU, Washington will help provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to the Institut Pasteur de Dakar in Senegal as it develops a big-scale flexible multi-vaccine manufacturing facility that can later produce COVID-19 and other vaccines.
The G7 initiative is to counter China’s Belt and Road project which is a mirror of China’s old original Silk Road which pushed trade networks throughout today’s Central Asian countries. Central Asia was thus the epicenter of one of the first waves of globalization, connecting eastern and western markets. Some analysts see China as using the projects to extend their force and power, while cost of projects are going high by the year. Washington sees the project as a Trojan horse for China-led regional development and military expansion.
The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States. In addition, the European Union is a non-enumerated member.