The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) of the U.S. signed memorandums of understanding with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI) separately on Nov. 7 to cooperate in investing in infrastructure projects in developing economies. The signing ceremony took place at the U.S. Ambassador to Japan’s official residence. The move is aimed at increasing the Japan-U.S. footprint via quality infrastructure investments to challenge China, which is expanding its investment reach overseas.
On Nov. 6, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed a memorandum of understanding with Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to cooperate in extending support to energy infrastructure development and building infrastructure-sourcing mechanisms. U. S. Ambassador to Japan William Hagerty stressed on Nov. 7 that these three memorandums are not only aimed at increasing business opportunities for Japanese and American companies but also “will help create a more open and free Indo-Pacific region.”
“Our objective is to extend support to Japanese and American businesses, which are performing strategic projects,” said JBIC CEO and Executive Managing Director Tadashi Maeda after referring to China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which is aimed at building a modern Silk Road economic belt. He also indicated that India and Australia are expected to join the framework down the road.
The Japan-U.S. partnership’s first investment will be in a solar power generation project in Jordan, according to NEXI Chairman and CEO Kazuhiko Bando. Meanwhile, OPIC President and CEO Ray W. Washburne showed a strong interest in investing in liquefied natural gas projects.