- US Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Japan Bank for International Cooperation, and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade launched a new initiative codenamed the ‘Blue Dot Network’ (BDN) for global infrastructural development.
- It is a multi-stakeholder initiative that will coalesce like-minded governments, the private sector, and civil society under shared standards of global infrastructure development.
- By providing a globally recognized seal of approval signifying adherence to high standards, the program will promote market-driven, transparent, and financially sustainable infrastructure projects.
- The BDN is a “rating mechanism” that would grade infrastructure projects in the Indo-Pacific region on different parameters like debt, environmental standards, labour standards, etc.
- Given that it involves citizen participation, it will ensure transparency in infrastructure development and is planned as a direct counter to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). However, unlike the BRI, the BDN would not offer public funds or loans for the project.
- With India refusing to join China’s BRI, there have been efforts to get India to join the U.S.-led BDN.
- Given India’s increasing prominence and stakes in the region, India would have an important role in BDN.