Infrastructure and Critical Minerals
Infrastructure and Critical Minerals
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Telecommunications companies have faced broad challenges in the Indo-Pacific — a region spanning a huge swath of the globe. The economic task of making costly network investments to cover broad geographies and dispersed populations poses an economic challenge for telecommunications network operators. Emerging threats, like cyberattacks from malicious actors, also introduce new and evolving complexities.

The United States is committed to addressing these concerns by supporting network modernization, security, and resilient infrastructure.

Solution and Impact

In 2022, the United States, Japan, and Australia renewed the Trilateral Infrastructure Partnership (TIP) to jointly support sustainable economic growth and development across the Indo-Pacific region. The resulting projects reflect these partners’ shared values, emphasize transparency, and respect the sovereignty and individual needs of countries in the region.

The agreement facilitated multinational support for the Australian government’s financing package provided to Telstra, an Australian telecommunications company, to acquire Digicel Pacific, the leading telecommunications service provider in the Pacific Islands. Working together, Export Finance Australia (EFA), the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) announced that JBIC and DFC will provide up to $50 million each in credit guaranties for EFA’s $1.3 billion financing package to support Telstra’s acquisition of Digicel Pacific.

Telstra’s ownership and modernization of the network has already resulted in expanded mobile voice and data access, improved network security, and increased quality of performance, all while maintaining affordability of these services in the region.

The breadth of Digicel Pacific’s footprint across the Pacific Islands provided a compelling opportunity for DFC, JBIC, and EFA to coordinate their strategic financing activities in support of a trusted network operator that is committed to modernizing and expanding access to critical digital services in remote island nations. Digicel Pacific has more than 2.9 million subscribers in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, and Nauru.

Together, the TIP is delivering on a commitment made by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan, and U.S. President Joe Biden at a Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGI) event at the G20 Summit in November 2022. They pledged to work together with Indo-Pacific partners to meet their needs for high-quality, sustainable infrastructure. DFC’s commitment is directed in support of connectivity in Papua New Guinea.

The agreement serves as a demonstration of the power of collaboration in building sustainable infrastructure throughout the Indo-Pacific.