Remarks by President Biden at the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment (PGII) Meeting
4:50 P.M. CIT
THE PRESIDENT: Well, good afternoon, everyone. We haven’t heard enough from everybody, so we’re going to go another five hours. (Laughs.)
I — I want to welcome you all. The — I’m going to make some brief opening comments and then yield to my friend, who’s been doing not much today except doing this all day, and then to — as much as I’d like to go to President von der Leyen, who I like better than anybody here. But — so we’re going to begin now.
Folks, good afternoon. I want to thank everyone for being here. You’ve done a tremendous job, by the way, for — really. You’ve done a great job. (Applause.)
And focusing on our efforts of the — of the G20 —
(Checks microphone.) Do I have this on? Yes.
— the G20 — toward restoring and recovering together and recovering stronger. As we were saying outside — we were having a photograph taken — I’m convinced we’re going to come out of this crisis we’ve been through, and the pandemic and other things, stronger than we went in. Every time we engage, we get better.
And I — today we’re focused on investing together and investing stronger than we have in the past.
In June, I joined my fellow G7 leaders to officially launch the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment, with the collective goal of mobilizing $600 billion in five years for quality, sustainability, and innovative infrastructure, and investments in low- and middle-income countries.
As I’ve spoken with the — my Canadian friends, this is something that we have an obligation to do, it seems to me, to deal with those nations that are not the primary cause of many of our problems, but are now left with a great deal of difficulty.
I want to emphasize the word “investments” — investments that are driven by local needs, in development with our partners, and delivering real results to improve the lives of all of our people.
Through the partnership, we’ve already launched an array of new projects with countries across the G20 and beyond, collaborating in new ways on climate, energy security, and digital connectivity, health infrastructure, and gender equity and gender equality.
And let me give you some examples of the work we’ve been doing.
First, in climate and on energy security: As we accelerate our investment and speed transition to clean energy future to meet the climate crisis head on, we have to make sure that they benefit people everywhere — everywhere — not just in the larger countries. And that’s why we’re proud to partner with Indonesia and Japan under both of our colleagues — an unflagging leadership from both them — together with a broad coalition of countries to create the Just Energy Transition Partnership — not “just” like “soon,” but “to be just” energy partnership.
Also critical to this effort has been the work of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero, co-chaired by my friend and champion of global climate efforts, Mike Bloomberg. Together, we hope to mobili- — we’re mobilizing $20 billion to support Indonesia’s efforts to reduce emissions and expand renewable energy, and support workers in the most affected — who are most affected by the transition away from coal, and that can be difficult.
That $20 billion from partner governments and some of the world’s leading financial institutions will accelerate an ambitious energy transition that has a global impact.
We also plan to invest
$798 million [$698 million] through the new Millennium Challenge Corporation with Indonesia, which will build climate-resilient transportation and support Indonesia’s development goals.
And around the world, we’re also investing in critical minerals, supply chains, and technology needed for a clean energy transition.
For example, in Honduras, the Export-Import Bank is financing one of the largest-ever solar projects in the Americas.
In Brazil, the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation has invested $30 million in equity in TechMet Limited’s mining in nic- — for — to mine nickel and cobalt, two of the minerals most needed to power electric vehicles and other clean energy technologies.
Together, these investments are going to create jobs in the communities where this mining takes place, and they support and help curb climate change — end global climate change.
Next, we’re investing in digital connectivity. As a matter of fact, when I was elected President, we invested in an infrastructure project at home because we found out — we focused on this, and we found out a significant portion of the people in my country, as — as wealthy as we’ve been, are — did not have access to — to the Internet. So we’ve — we’re — we came up with a billion 200 hundred million dollars in infrastructure to make sure every single community — rural communities and others. Well, that’s the case all around the world.
And so we’re — this digital connectivity, we’re teaming up with a range of partners to ensure people have access to the Internet — affordable access to the Internet — and other technologies. We qui- — these technologies are required to participate in today’s economies.
And — for example, we’re working together with Japan and Australia to upgrade networks in Papua New Guinea and across the Pacific, improving security, performance, and access to digital services.
And through the United States’ Digital
Investment [Invest] blended finance program, we are working with Kenya partner CSquared to establish a nationwide fiber network in Liberia that’s going to help connect 1 million Liberians to the web.
And the next is health infrastructure. We’ve seen over the last few years, strengthening health security must be — must be a priority for all of us. We just went through a long discussion on that.
That’s why we’re continuing to support vaccine manufacturing in Africa and Asia and investing $15 million through the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation in India’s health infrastructure, as just a few examples.
And finally, gender equity and gender equality. When we invest in equal opportunity for women, we can deliver greater prosperity for everyone — for everyone.
And so, we’re working with the G7 nations and the World Bank to launch the Invest in Childcare Initiative to help families get children they need — get the childcare they need, and help women get the opportunities they deserve to be able to be in the workforce.
We’re already starting to see returns. For example, the initiative has funded a project in Somalia, and that will help nearly 300,000 women across the country to build literacy and leadership skills.
These are just some of the projects where our countries are stepping up to deliver impact investments.
And we’re at an inflection point. Investments we make together today will have far-reaching impacts on the world for generations to come. If we don’t make them, it will also have far-reaching impacts — if we don’t make these investments.
And so, creating real opportunity, greater equality, and a more secure, healthy, and prosperous world is what we’re all about.
Moving forward, we have to continue to invest together and invest stronger. And we welcome all who share this vision to join this partnership.
And I want to thank you. And now I’d like to turn it over to a man we haven’t heard from for the last few days — (laughs) — Widodo. It’s all yours, Joko.
4:59 P.M. CIT