USA to Inject $113 Mln in Indo-Pacific Region

USA to Inject $113 Mln in Indo-Pacific Region

USA to Inject $113 Mln in Indo-Pacific Region

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire. The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo outlines his strategy to help Indo-Pacific economies bolster their infrastructure so they can better compete with China. And while he spoke about leveraging these initiatives with USA allies and partners in the region, he said little about what Washington would pursue, with whom, and where. Chief among these is Chinese President Xi Jinping's Belt and Road Initiative, a global plan to build or expand highways, railways, ports, pipelines and power plants that Morgan Stanley forecasts could grow as large as $1.3 trillion over the next decade.

"By working together we can attract more private capital to achieve greater results".

That work will continue, he maintained, as "it is clearly in America's strategic interest to deepen engagement in the Indo-Pacific region".

Ray Washburne, president of the United States government's Overseas Private Investment Corporation, also said the agency has $4 billion invested in the region and hopes to double that figure "in the next few years". Still, he frequently sought to frame United States companies as the better partners for countries seeking foreign investment. It's here that a more fully-drawn-out diplomatic strategy should be developed. We're looking for partnerships. Take, for instance, the partnership between Japan and India on connectivity from Africa to Asia, the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor initiative.

"The economic relationship between our two countries is strong".

File image of Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop.

"The fact is that we demonstrate consistently that Australia is very focused on making sure that we can help the least-developed economies in our region to get on to a more economically sustainable footing", he said.

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As part of its focus on Indo-Pacific region, the U.S. department of Commerce Monday announced to hold one of its flagship events in India next year.

Will part of the $113 million funding catalyze matching commitments, for example, from private companies or other countries' development agencies?

After the United States withdrawal, trade ministers from the 11 nations that stuck with TPP talks - Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam - signed a new agreement in Chile on March 8.

He also announced strengthened support for important regional institutions in the Indo-Pacific, including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and US-ASEAN Connect, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and the Lower Mekong Initiative, along with a first-ever contribution to the Indian Ocean Rim Association.

"We do this because we recognise the tremendous economic and social benefits that come with an open, secure, and reliable internet", he said.

In contrast, Qin believes that the US initiatives on digital connectivity, energy projects, and infrastructure target the needs of this region and will foster fair and reciprocal relationships, with U.

Pompeo's speech didn't suggest any change in the USA stance toward the agreement.

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