Explanation: B3W vs BRI in Latin America


In June 2021, the G7 partners announced the Build Back Better World, or B3W, initiative which will provide countries around the world with an alternative to China’s Belt and Road Initiative, known as BRI, for infrastructure development. Latin America is the first region on B3W’s radar. To that end, in September, U.S. officials conducted a listening tour to Colombia, Ecuador and Panama, with on-bridge visits to other regions ahead of the official launch of the initiative, which is expected to take place. in 2022.

B3W is young in its development, but, as the name suggests, it can be seen as an international extension of the White House’s national Build Back Better project while providing an option opposed to Beijing’s global infrastructure goals. In 2000, Washington was the main trading partner of all South American countries except Paraguay. But, two decades later, China moved it to first place in every country in South America except Ecuador and Suriname, and is closely behind the United States in Colombia.

China’s rise in economic influence in the region dates back to before the BIS, with over $ 137 billion in loan grants since 2005 from some of its major lenders, the China Development Bank. and the Export-Import Bank of China. (Despite this expansion, in 2020 none of the banks made new loans, but Beijing’s M&A deals continued to rise, especially in power infrastructure.) This dynamic shift is also marked by China’s recent bid for the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, the trade pact that replaced the Trans-Pacific Partnership that the United States abandoned under the Trump administration.

Washington and its allies say the B3W would offer a transparent alternative with anti-corruption safeguards that differ from the procedures set out under the BRI, although details of B3W’s next steps are scarce. But, with an American delegation laying the groundwork for the program with this fall’s Latin American tour, AS / COA Online compares B3W’s aspirations to those of the BRI.

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