November 4, 2019
Spearheaded by OPIC, DFAT, and JBIC—shared goals will advance high-quality, trusted infrastructure development standards
BANGKOK – The U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) today unveiled Blue Dot Network—a multi-stakeholder initiative that brings together governments, the private sector, and civil society to promote high-quality, trusted standards for global infrastructure development in an open and inclusive framework.
Blue Dot Network will evaluate and certify nominated infrastructure projects based upon adherence to commonly accepted principles and standards to promote market-driven, transparent, and financially sustainable infrastructure development in the Indo-Pacific region and around the world.
The initiative was announced by OPIC’s David Bohigian at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. Details of Blue Dot Network were unveiled during a panel discussion that included Bohigian, U.S. Department of State Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach, DFAT Deputy Secretary Richard Maude, and JBIC Governor Tadashi Maeda.
“The development of critical infrastructure—when it is led by the private sector and supported on terms that are transparent, sustainable, and socially and environmentally responsible—is foundational to widespread economic empowerment,” said Bohigian. “Through Blue Dot Network, the United States is proud to join key partners to fully unlock the power of quality infrastructure to foster unprecedented opportunity, progress, and stability.”
“This endorsement of Blue Dot Network not only creates a solid foundation for infrastructure global trust standards but reinforces the need for the establishment of umbrella global trust standards in other sectors, including digital, mining, financial services, and research,” said Krach. “Such global trust standards, which are based on respect for transparency and accountability, sovereignty of property and resources, local labor and human rights, rule of law, the environment, and sound governance practices in procurement and financing, have been driven not just by private sector companies and civil society but also by governments around the world.”
“Australia is committed to promoting high-quality infrastructure, inclusive approaches, and facilitating private sector investment in the Indo-Pacific region,” said Maude. “I’m pleased that this commitment is shared by East Asia Summit Leaders, and we look forward to working closely with our regional partners to develop Blue Dot Network to take action on this commitment.”
“Blue Dot Network is an initiative that leads to the promotion of quality infrastructure investment committed by G20 countries,” said Maeda. “As JBIC has a long history of infrastructure finance all over the world, JBIC is pleased to share such experience and contribute to further development of Blue Dot Network.”
Blue Dot Network will support the goals of East Asia Summit Leaders and build upon common principles of project excellence agreed to as part of the G20 Buenos Aires Call to Action, G20 Osaka Summit Principles for Promoting Quality Infrastructure Investment, discussions around the G7 Charlevoix Commitment, and the Equator Principles.
The initiative complements efforts by OPIC, DFAT, and JBIC to strengthen development finance cooperation in support of principles-based infrastructure and sustainable economic growth, both in the projects they support individually and through their Trilateral Infrastructure Partnership.
U.S. Government coordination of Blue Dot Network will initially be led by OPIC, in close coordination with other agencies and departments. Blue Dot Network participants will form a steering committee to further refine the initiative and its global infrastructure standards, and invite partners representing sovereign governments, economies, the private sector, and civil society to join the effort and support the development of the initiative’s permanent governing structure and processes.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is a department of the Government of Australia charged with providing the government with foreign, trade, and development policy advice. It manages an A$4 billion aid program as well as the new Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific (AIFFP), which provides lending and grants. DFAT works to make Australia stronger, safer, and more prosperous by promoting its interests internationally and contributing to regional and global stability and economic growth.
The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) is a policy-based financial institution, its shares wholly owned by the Government of Japan, which has the purpose of contributing to the sound development of the Japanese and international economy and society by taking responsibility for financial functions to promote overseas development and secure natural resources with strategic importance to Japan, maintaining and improving the international competitiveness of Japanese industries, promoting overseas business having the purpose of preserving the global environment, and also providing the financial services that are necessary to prevent disruptions to the international financial order or to implement appropriate measures with respect to the effects of such disruption.