By Hugo Dixon September 25, 20233:34 AM GMT+2
LONDON, Sept 25 (Reuters Breakingviews) – Western countries have a window of opportunity to come up with a credible infrastructure plan for the developing world. China’s $1 trillion Belt and Road Initiative is drowning in bad debts and may be about to lose Italy, the only big rich democracy which is a member. The People’s Republic has its own financial problems too, meaning it will struggle to pour more money into overseas investments.
The $600 billion plan launched by the Group of Seven wealthy democracies has announced some splashy schemes involving railways and green energy: an economic “corridor” linking India to Europe via the Arabian peninsula; a trans-African corridor connecting Zambia to Angola via the Democratic Republic of Congo; and partnerships to help Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa and Senegal make the transition from fossil fuels to renewable power.