Without naming Sri Lanka, the Quad leaders also resolved to address the debt problems of countries in the region.
As a counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, the four nations (India, the U.S., Japan, and Australia) agreed Tuesday to extend more than $50 billion in assistance to the Indo-Pacific region over the next five years to bridge infrastructure. gaps.
“We reaffirm our shared commitment to deepen infrastructure cooperation, which is critical to boosting productivity and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. We are committed to working closely with partners and the region to leverage public and private investment to close the gaps,” the Quad leaders said in a joint statement.
Briefing reporters at the end of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Japan, Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra said the Quad leaders mentioned that filling the infrastructure gaps had to be in a manner that would not result in an unsustainable burden and an unsustainable bouquet of projects.
“The ($50 billion) figure you saw is a projected figure. The infrastructure cooperation that will come out of this will address precisely these points: that the projects are sustainable, demand-driven, and meet the specific needs of the Indo-Pacific countries,” Kwatra said.
Kwatra said Modi put forward specific proposals at the Quad summit that could help guide the grouping’s agenda in the coming months and years. “Some of the proposals include the need to take robust initiatives in the field of climate finance and sustainable developments; emphasis on the importance of building appropriate platforms for industry and business in the Quad and Indo-Pacific countries to forge partnerships in the field of critical and emerging technologies; formal and informal mechanisms to strengthen partnership among like-minded countries in areas of common interest,” he added.
Without naming Sri Lanka, the Quad leaders also decided to address the debt problems of countries in the region. “We will work to strengthen the capacities of countries that need to address debt problems under the G20 Common Framework, and by promoting debt sustainability and transparency in close collaboration with financial authorities of relevant countries, including through the ‘Quad Debt Management Resource Portal, ‘ which consists of multi-track bilateral and multilateral capacity-building assistance,” the joint statement said.
The Quad countries also launched a new maritime domain awareness initiative, the Indo-Pacific Partnership for Maritime Domain Awareness (IPMDA), to combat illegal fishing and respond to natural and humanitarian disasters in the region.
China is believed to have become the world’s largest perpetrator of illegal fishing, depleting the world’s fish stocks and undermining traditional livelihoods in many countries.
Biden praises Modi’s handling of Covid
During a closed session of the Quad summit, U.S. President Joe Biden praised Modi for successfully handling the Covid pandemic in a democratic manner. He compared India’s success with China’s failure to handle the pandemic, although both countries are comparable in size, a senior official said.