At G7, Washington is launching a vast investment program supposed to thwart China

Joe Biden assured that this program for developing countries was based on “shared values” such as “transparency”, respect for workers’ rights, the environment, gender equality …

Le Monde with AFP

The project is supposed to thwart the immense projects funded by China in developing countries. On the initiative of the United States, the G7 put on the rails on Sunday, June 26, a vast investment program for these developing countries.

“With G7 partners, we aim to mobilize $ 600 billion [just under 570 billion euros] by 2027 for global investments in infrastructure,” said the White House shortly before A speech by Joe Biden revealing this proposal at the summit of the seven industrialized countries (Germany, Canada, United States, France, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom), which was held in southern Germany.

The President of the United States assured that this program was based on “shared values” such as “transparency”, respect for workers’ rights, the environment, gender equality. “We offer better options,” he said.

Neither the American president nor the other leaders pronounced the name of China, but they made obvious allusions there. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, estimated that the partner countries of Westerners “[had] the choice” – understand that of going to democracies rather than to Beijing – to develop their electrical networks or their infrastructures medical.

Westerners wish to stand out from China, which has invested massively in many developing countries, to build infrastructure as part of the “New Silk Roads” program, or to ensure access at certain raw materials.

200 billion of the United States over five years

Beijing is nevertheless accused of carrying out his projects by using unattractive, opaque, even perilous loans, which would aggravate the debt problems of already vulnerable countries. Hence the “transparency” that, on the contrary, promises the countries of the G7.

The global partnership for infrastructure (“Partnership for Global Infrastructure”) must “make the world a better offer in terms of infrastructure investments,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. The United States alone promises to “mobilize” some “$ 200 billion” over five years.

But “mobilizing” does not mean that the States will themselves bring these considerable sums. Washington arrives in total of $ 200 billion in combining loans, public funding – partly already existing – and private funding encouraged by the American executive. With these large figures still uncertain and these good intentions, can Westerners reverse the trend against China? The United States wants to believe it.

The Chinese offensive “has existed for years and has resulted in many liquid payments and numerous investments,” said a senior White House on Sunday. “But it’s really not too late,” he said about the G7 initiative.

“Many countries that have received funds or investments from the BRI program [Acronym of the name in English Belt and Road Initiative] now understand, years later, that they are more indebted, than their GDP has not progressed significantly, that the alleged investments have not reached their populations, “said the same source, which did not wish to be named.

“Sub-Saharan Africa will clearly be a major priority [of the partnership launched by the G7]”, said this senior official of the American executive, but ensuring that Central America, South Asia- Is, where Central Asia were also “extremely important” regions.

/Media reports.