India Invited to Join the Blue Dot Network
- 22 Oct 2020
- 3 min read
Why in News
A group of the US Senators, in a letter, has asked India to join the Blue Dot Network (BDN).
- The letter also backed India’s decision to invite Australia to the annual Malabar naval exercise.
- Blue Dot Network:
- The BDN was formally announced on 4th November 2019 at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. It is led by the USA along with Japan and Australia.
- It is a multi-stakeholder initiative to bring together governments, the private sector and civil society to promote high-quality, trusted standards for global infrastructure development.
- It is expected to serve as a globally recognized evaluation and certification system for roads, ports and bridges with a focus on the Indo-Pacific region.
- Infrastructure projects would be graded on debt, environmental standards, labour standards etc.
- This system would apply to projects in any citizen-centric country where citizens would like to evaluate such projects.
- It 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.
- Blue Dot certification: BDN will serve as a globally recognized seal of approval for major infrastructure projects, letting people know that projects are sustainable and not exploitative.
- Malabar Exercise:
- It is an annual exercise between the navies of India, Japan, and the U.S. held alternately in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
- Australia’s inclusion to Malabar followed the recent 2+2 ministerial meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue [the Quad] in Tokyo.
- The new Blue Dot Network, can be a strategy to persuade developing countries in Asia-Pacific not rely on Chinese funds (debt traps) for sustainable infrastructure development.
- India, Japan, and Australia can take the lead in infrastructural projects, while the USA needs to be more proactive in pushing ahead the vision of connectivity.