February 9, 2024
Since the February 2022 release of the Biden-Harris Administration’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS), the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has more than doubled its funding commitments in the Indo-Pacific region, advancing IPS goals of an Indo-Pacific that is free and open, connected, prosperous, secure and resilient. USTDA’s project preparation and partnership-building activities help develop high-quality, sustainable infrastructure that is foundational to bringing about this vision in emerging economies, while supporting U.S. exports to realize it.
DEEPENED COMMITMENTS TO THE INDO-PACIFIC REGION
- Since the release of IPS, USTDA has supported more than 30 infrastructure development activities in the Indo-Pacific region that are designed to help unlock an estimated $26 billion in financing and facilitate billions of dollars in U.S. exports.
- USTDA opened a new regional office in the Philippines, bringing the total number of Indo-Pacific offices to six, in addition to India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
- USTDA programming has spanned priority sectors and projects across thirteen countries that include:
- Digital Infrastructure: 5G, subsea cables, broadband connectivity, satellites, smart cities, and government digital services.
- Climate and Clean Energy: smart grids, offshore wind, battery storage, mingrids, ocean thermal technologies, pumped storage hydropower, geothermal, critical minerals, coal mine methane abatement, plastic recycling, and nuclear small modular reactors.
- Transportation: airport operations, low-emission locomotives, air traffic management, and logistics and intelligent transportation systems.
- Healthcare Infrastructure: digitized medical records and high-tech treatment facilities.
NEW INITIATIVES TO ADVANCE IPS GOALS
Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative: President Biden designated USTDA as the U.S. government lead on the Pacific Islands Infrastructure Initiative to catalyze financing for infrastructure projects throughout the Pacific Islands. USTDA has received more than eighty proposals and has funded projects to support priorities like digital connectivity and climate adaptation and resilience. USTDA also expanded its highly successful regional Aviation Cooperation Program to include the Pacific Islands, resulting in partnership-building activities on topics like natural disaster resilience, airport security, and using drones for small deliveries.
IPEF Project Preparation Facility: The White House designated USTDA to lead the U.S. government’s Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) Project Preparation Facility with the goal of mobilizing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital for infrastructure in IPEF’s emerging economies. The Facility will deepen IPEF donor country coordination and create novel tools for early-stage project preparation work that brings quality, bankable projects into the pipeline for the IPEF Investment Accelerator, a one-stop-shop to increase project-specific financing for priority infrastructure in IPEF countries.
STRONGER COLLABORATION WITH REGIONAL PARTNERS
Mobilizing Infrastructure Finance: USTDA signed agreements with the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to increase infrastructure projects’ bankability by providing project preparation support. The agreement with ADB will advance quality infrastructure across Asia, and the partnership with JBIC will help implement sustainable infrastructure priorities identified.
Collaborating with the Quad: Stronger partnerships with fellow Quad nations Australia, India, and Japan allow USTDA to program around projects of mutual interest. At the 2023 Quad Leaders’ Summit, USTDA announced funding for technical assistance for Palau’s mobile telecommunications network, the first commercial deployment of Open Radio Access Network architecture in the Pacific Islands. Collaboration with the Quad helps leverage members’ diverse capabilities and resources. Australia has already committed to finance the Central Pacific Cable project, underpinned by a USTDA-funded feasibility study, that will connect Guam, American Samoa and 12 Pacific Island countries and territories in between.
Leveraging Regional Partnerships: USTDA has increased coordination and undertaken scoping missions with regional partners to leverage strengths and resources towards shared goals, such as a tripartite U.S.-Australia-New Zealand effort working to jumpstart high-quality transportation infrastructure investment in the Pacific Island Countries.
SIGNATURE USTDA PROGRAMMING IN THE INDO-PACIFIC REGION
Indo-Pacific Business Forum: USTDA co-hosts the annual Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF), the leading U.S. government event to promote trade, investment and economic cooperation between the United States and its partners throughout the region. IPBF 2023, co-hosted by Japan, attracted more than 1,250 attendees, including five U.S. Cabinet-level officials, multiple ministerial level Japanese government officials and private sector CEOs. IPBF 2024 will be held in Manila, Philippines, in spring 2024.
Global Procurement Initiative: USTDA’s worldwide Global Procurement Initiative (GPI) trains public procurement officials in emerging markets to help partner countries build smart, sustainable infrastructure with overall cost savings, while also opening markets to greater international competition. GPI gained its fifth partner in the Indo-Pacific region when Thailand joined in 2022, and expanded subnational partnerships in India in January 2023 through the Interstate Clean Energy Procurement Program (ICEPP) that is advancing the development of clean energy infrastructure in eight Indian states. GPI also supported high-quality infrastructure development in six Pacific Island partner countries through a public procurement training program to facilitate the islands’ procurement of infrastructure that is resilient, sustainable, and conducive to long-term economic growth.
USTDA’s programming advances global U.S. priorities like the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) to deliver game-changing projects to close the infrastructure gap in developing countries and the President’s Plan for Adaptation and Resilience (PREPARE) to deploy infrastructure that supports partner countries’ adaptation needs. It also supports regional initiatives like Clean EDGE Asia and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework.
For more information on USTDA’s Indo-Pacific portfolio, please visit USTDA’s website.
The U.S. Trade and Development Agency helps companies create U.S. jobs through the export of U.S. goods and services for priority infrastructure projects in emerging economies. USTDA links U.S. businesses to export opportunities by funding project preparation and partnership building activities that develop sustainable infrastructure and foster economic growth in partner countries.
MEDIA INQUIRIES: Paul Marin | (703) 875-4357