Leaders of the world’s richest democracies are looking to bridge a vast gap with emerging economies by focusing on infrastructure and debt relief, officials say, part of a strategy to blunt China’s influence in lower-income countries.
Ukraine will again be a focus for leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) as they gather for the second day of a three-day summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Saturday, where President Volodymyr Zelensky is also due to arrive.
Outreach to the “Global South” is a theme for the summit, underscoring both the rising economic importance of countries such as India and the vast inroads China has made across developing markets – building infrastructure and extending finance.
Members of the G7, composed of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada, are increasingly focused, officials say, on how China’s influence in low and middle-income countries is impacting supply chains and economic security.
The group is due to release a statement on economic security, a U.S. official said. Russia’s war in Ukraine has also unduly hurt low-income countries, the G7 members say.
“We remain concerned that serious challenges to debt sustainability are undermining the progress” towards sustainable development goals, the leaders said in a draft of their final communiqué obtained by Reuters on Friday.
“Low- and middle-income countries are disproportionately affected by Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine,” they said in the draft.