US brings in ‘Blue Dot Network’ to counter China’s Belt and Road initiative
By Aisha Mahmood
- The Blue Dot Network will evaluate and certify nominated infrastructure projects, stated OPIC.
- US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Blue Dot Network was in its early stages but that it would include other countries.
In an effort to compete with China’s multi-billion-dollar Belt and Road initiative, the US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) has unveiled Blue Dot Network with the aim to invest and trade more in Asia.
The Blue Dot Network was announced by OPIC’s Executive Vice President David Bohigian at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. The network is an initiative that brings together governments, private sector and civil society to promote high-quality global infrastructure development in an open and inclusive framework.
“The Blue Dot Network will evaluate and certify nominated infrastructure projects based upon adherence to commonly accepted principles and standards to promote market-driven, transparent, and financially sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world,” stated OPIC in a statement.
“Through Blue Dot Network, the United States is proud to join key partners to fully unlock the power of quality infrastructure to foster unprecedented opportunity, progress, and stability,” Bohigian said.
The network, which is named after astronomer Carl Sagan’s observation that Earth looked like a ‘pale blue dot’ when viewed from space, will initially be led by OPIC. The OPIC will be in co-operation with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the Blue Dot Network was in its early stages but that it would include countries committed to “sustainable infrastructure development”.
Blue Dot Network participants will form a steering committee to further refine the initiative and its global infrastructure standards. It will also invite partners representing sovereign governments, private sector, civil society and economies to join the effort.
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