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The US wants to raise $200 billion as part of China’s Belt & Road G7 rival

U.S. President Joe Biden attends a working lunch with other G7 leaders to discuss shaping the global economy at the Yoga Pavilion, Schloss Elmau in Kuren, Germany, June 26, 2022. Kenny Holston/Pool via REUTERS

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WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) – The United States plans to raise $200 billion in private and public funds over five years to fund needed infrastructure in developing countries as part of a G7 initiative aimed at Countering China’s multi-trillion-dollar Belt and Road project, the White House said Sunday.

US President Joe Biden will unveil the plans, flanked by other Group of Seven leaders, some of whom have already unveiled their own initiatives, at their annual meeting, taking place this year at Schloss Elmau in southern Germany.

G7 leaders, increasingly concerned about China, first unveiled plans for the project last year and are now officially launching it under the new title “Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investments,” while debuting Biden’s coined the moniker “Build Back Better World” dropped his presidential campaign.

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Biden will unveil several specific projects at a G7 side event attended by leaders from the UK, Germany, Japan, the European Union and Canada, and vows to focus on projects that help fight climate change as well as improve global health , gender equality and digital infrastructure . French President Emmanual Macron, who has officially joined the Chinese infrastructure program, will be particularly absent.

“The President doesn’t think we need to spend dollar for dollar against China … but when you add up what the US and G7 partners are going to announce, it gets pretty close to the number,” a senior US official told reporters.

The funds would be raised through grants and federal funds, as well as leveraging private sector investment, the White House said, adding that hundreds of billions of additional dollars could come from multilateral development banks, development finance institutions, sovereign wealth funds and others.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) program, launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013, includes development and investment initiatives in over 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 brought little tangible benefit to many developing countries, as top jobs went to Chinese workers while forced and child labor rose.

Biden will highlight several flagship projects, including a $2 billion solar development project in Angola with support from the Department of Commerce, US Export-Import Bank, US firm AfricaGlobal Schaffer and US project developer Sun Africa.

Washington, along with G7 members and the EU, will also provide $3.3 million in technical assistance to Senegal’s Institut Pasteur de Dakar to develop a flexible, industrial-scale production facility for multiple vaccines in that country that will eventually Can manufacture COVID-19 and other vaccines.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) will also provide up to $50 million over five years to the World Bank’s new global Childcare Incentive Fund, a project aimed at filling the gap in adequate childcare infrastructure shut down.

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Reporting by Andrea Shaal; Editing by Mark Porter

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