Western Infrastructure Projects Fail to Fight Poverty in Global South: Think Tank

© AP Photo / Matt DunhamWork under way on the HS2 route near London's Euston station
Work under way on the HS2 route near London's Euston station - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 17.10.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On October 17-18, China will host the Third Forum on International Cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. This is an international initiative by China to build infrastructure and connect Eurasian countries.
Major Western infrastructure projects for developing countries are being created as geopolitical instruments to counter China and do not address the needs of the Global South, such as poverty eradication, Schiller Institute think tank founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche told Sputnik ahead of the Third Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.
The Belt and Road Initiative is a concept proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 to boost international multilateral trade and investment projects involving interested countries. More than 150 countries and over 30 international organizations have already joined the project. In recent years, Western countries have criticized the Chinese effort and sought to respond with their own initiatives, such as the Group of Seven's Partnership for Global Infrastructure Investments (PGII) and the European Union's Global Gateway.

"These competitive projects are supposed to demonstrate the superiority of Western values, but they fail to address what is most important for the countries of the Global South, namely effective poverty elimination. The fundamental flaw is that they are not addressing the needs of the relevant countries; rather, they are motivated by geopolitics and are designed to defeat China, so they don't work," Zepp-LaRouche said.

A man poses next to the installation of the One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing, China - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 16.10.2023
Third 'One Belt, One Road' Forum in China: What to Expect and Why It Matters?
She also described the PGII as "essentially hot air," saying the initiative is based on faulty reasoning.
"It is based on the erroneous assumption that private investors could be found for projects, which, in order to compete with China, would have to renounce significant profits from these investments. Partially, it’s just a restructuring of previous projects of the Global Gateway or, before that, of the EU's Investment Plan for Europe, the so-called Juncker-Plan, which went nowhere," Zepp-LaRouche said.
The Third Belt and Road Forum is set to take place in Beijing from October 17-18. Officials from more than 130 countries and various international organizations, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, are expected to attend the event.