World leaders at the Group of Seven Summit in Schloss Elmau, Germany, on June 26 formally launched a new initiative to mobilize $600 billion in investments in a wide range of transportation, energy, healthcare and telecommunications infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income countries.
The Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment is a G7 initiative first envisioned at the 2021 summit in Cornwall. It aims to boost investments that will enable developing nations to build much-needed construction projects without being overwhelmed by debt.
The U.S. plans to mobilize $200 billion over the next five years through a variety of different grant programs, federal financing and private-sector investments that can be leveraged to encourage additional investments.
Other participating countries will collectively contribute up to $400 billion. G7 members also include the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Canada.
“These strategic investments are critical to sustainable development and to our shared global stability, health and health security, digital connectivity, general equality and equity, climate and energy security,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. He added that the investments were not “an act of charity” but “an investment” that will let “communities see for themselves the concrete benefits of partnering with democracies.”
Examples of the type of work being supported include a $2-billion solar project made possible through a U.S. government-facilitated partnership between two U.S. firms and the government of Angola, and a $320-million project being developed by Philadelphia-based ABD Group to renovate or build more than 100 hospitals and clinics across Côte d’Ivoire.
The effort will also support a $28-million Front-End Engineering and Design study for a first-of-a-kind small modular reactor (SMR) plant being developed in Romania by U.S.-based firm NuScale.
In a statement, Enoh T. Ebong, director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, said, “Our partners in Romania and across Eastern Europe require the scaling of existing project preparation efforts to meet the region’s longer-term energy security needs.”
The study will build on the agency’s existing commitments to deploy small modular reactor technologies in Eastern Europe, informed partially by a study that identified locations where reactors could replace existing coal-fired power plants, he noted. “Our engagement is having the intended result of creating new business opportunities for U.S. industry in an important market and advancing energy security across the region,” Ebong said.
Amos Hochstein, senior advisor for energy security at the U.S. Dept. of State, will spearhead U.S. efforts to coordinate with other nations.