G7 Emphasizes Fair Infrastructure Investment in Developing Countries

The Japan News
The Grand Prince Hotel Hiroshima, the main venue for the G7 Hiroshima Summit

HIROSHIMA ― The Group of Seven industrialized nations confirmed that they would continue fair and sustainable infrastructure investment in emerging and developing countries at their summit in Hiroshima on Saturday. As China strengthens its presence in infrastructure investment in various countries, Japan and Western nations hope to promote sustainable and fair investment and to spread G7 values, such as protection of the environment and gender equality.

Leaders and ministers of G7 and invited countries exchanged views with representatives of financial institutions and businesses on the current status and future prospects for infrastructure investment in developing countries at a side event held between the official summit sessions.

Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown called on the G7 countries at the event to “provide support that fits the reality of each country, although the return on investment in countries with small populations is low.” Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said, “I would like to work with you all to further promote high-quality infrastructure investment.” The summit communique adopted Saturday also stressed, “We will continue strengthening global partnerships for public and private investments in sustainable, inclusive, resilient and quality infrastructure with partner countries.”

At the G7 summit held in Elmau, Germany, last year, the G7 leaders agreed to establish the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, a new framework to promote infrastructure investment in developing countries and other regions. To compete against China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the G7 countries aim to invest a total of $600 billion by 2027 in projects such as power generation projects using renewable energy and support for vaccine development.

Since 2013, China has been actively investing in infrastructure in African countries, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other countries through the Belt and Road Initiative, with direct investment amounting to $161.3 billion from 2013 to 2021. On the other hand, it has been criticized for ensnaring countries receiving China’s aid in debt traps by which it obtain rights to the use of some infrastructure.