G-7 nations

G-7 members wary of Chinese influence

The Group of Seven leading democratic economies (G-7), at its annual meeting at the weekend, launched a global infrastructure and investment partnership intended to counter China’s influence in developing countries. 

What’s their plan? 

The G-7 initiative is a response to China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative, which Western officials have long claimed traps receiving nations in debt and with investments that benefit China more than their hosts. According to the White House, the effort aims to increase infrastructure development in low- and middle-income countries by leveraging $200b in U.S. investment over the next five years, along with a comparable sum from G-7 partners. 

Have any beneficiaries been named? 

Noting that rather than direct taxpayer funds, the majority of the funding will come from the corporate sector, sovereign wealth funds, and international development funds, the United States said the G-7-backed initiative supports responsible investments that seek to help the areas in which they are made. A $2b solar farm investment in Angola, $320m for hospital development in Ivory Coast, and $40m to support regional energy commerce in Southeast Asia are a few of the initial efforts. 

In reference to the worsening energy crisis and severe economic downturn, both of which have been significantly impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the G-7 members currently face challenges comparable to those the world experienced in the 1970s when the group was created. 

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