Date
23 September 2018
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in emerging Asia as part of efforts to counter Beijing’s influence in the region. Photo: Reuters
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has announced new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in emerging Asia as part of efforts to counter Beijing’s influence in the region. Photo: Reuters

Australia, Japan join US infrastructure push in Asia

Australia and Japan have joined the United States in a push to invest in infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region, Reuters reports, citing a statement from the three nations.

“The United States, Japan and Australia have formed a trilateral partnership to mobilize investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, and foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific,” according to the statement.

The investments will include energy, transportation, tourism and technology infrastructure, with the governments aiming to attract private capital to projects, as per the announcement from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the US Overseas Private Investment Corp, and the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation.

Reuters noted that the initiative is part of a broader effort by the US and its allies to reassert their influence in the Pacific amid fears that the region is increasingly susceptible to diplomatic pressure from Beijing, which is spending billions of dollars on its Belt and Road initiative.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced US$113 million in new technology, energy and infrastructure initiatives in emerging Asia during a speech at a forum in Washington.

Australia has recently stepped up its engagement in the Pacific, allocating it the largest slice of its aid budget, while Japan has also been stepping up its diplomacy in the region, recently opening an embassy in Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, the report noted.

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