Amid efforts by China to increase its global footprint by financing infrastructure projects, Quad leaders on Tuesday reaffirmed their shared commitment to deepen cooperation on infrastructure, which is critical to driving productivity and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region A statement issued after the meeting of leaders of Australia, India, Japan and the United States here said that Quad will seek to extend more than 50 billion USD of infrastructure assistance and investment in the Indo-Pacific over the next five years.
The Quad leaders said in the statement that they share a commitment to addressing debt issues, which have been exacerbated by the pandemic in many countries. "Quad partners bring decades of skills and experience together to catalyse infrastructure delivery to the region. We are committed to working closely with partners and the region to drive public and private investment to bridge gaps. To achieve this, Quad will seek to extend more than 50 billion USD of infrastructure assistance and investment in the Indo-Pacific, over the next five years," the statement said.
"We will work to strengthen capacities of the countries in need to cope with debt issues under the G20 Common Framework and by promoting debt sustainability and transparency in close collaboration with finance authorities of relevant countries, including through the 'Quad Debt Management Resource Portal,' which consists of multiple bilateral and multilateral capacity building assistance," it added.
The leaders welcomed the meeting of the development finance institutions and agencies of the four countries in the margins of the Quad Leaders' Meeting. "We are working closely with experts, our region and each other to link our toolkits and expertise to better connect the Indo-Pacific," the statement said. "We will further deepen collaboration and pursue complementary actions in identified areas, such as regional and digital connectivity, clean energy, and climate resilience including disaster resilience in energy-related facilities that reflect the region's priorities including ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth in the region," it added.
The Quad meeting was attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. On COVID-19 and global health security, the Quad leaders said they welcome the progress on the expansion of J&J vaccine production at the Biological E facility in India under the Quad Vaccine Partnership-sustainable manufacturing capacity will yield long-term benefits in the fight against COVID-19 and future pandemics.
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The leaders said they looked forward to WHO Emergency Use Listing Procedure (EUL) for the vaccines. "In this regard, we look forward to the grant of WHO's EUL approvals regarding the aforementioned vaccines in India. We celebrate the donation by the Quad to Cambodia and Thailand of WHO approved Made in India vaccines, together with Quad members' other vaccine related support, as an example of tangible achievement of our collaboration," the statement said.