The United States, Japan and Australia are collaborating to form an alliance that will aim to finance infrastructure projects across Asia. The partnership is a move to lower China’s influence on the Indo-Pacific region through the Chinese government’s Belt and Road initiative.
According to a joint statement by the U.S. government's development finance institution the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Australian government's international relations department the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Japanese public financial institution and export credit agency the Japan Bank for International Cooperation issued on Jul 30, “The United States, Japan, and Australia have formed a trilateral partnership to mobilise investment in projects that drive economic growth, create opportunities, and foster a free, open, inclusive and prosperous Indo-Pacific.”
The three governments are contemplating to draw private capital, which will be invested in technology, tourism, energy and transportation infrastructure.
As these investments will help the targeted industries perform better, it could be a good idea to take a look at Asian stocks that are already positioned well.
What Triggered the Trilateral Investment Plan?
The United States and its partners worry that China is trying to assert itself on the Indo-Pacific region through financing infrastructure. The Belt and Road initiative, which aims to build ports, railways, power plants, pipelines and highways and more in Asia, Europe and parts of Africa, is a way to connect China to the world via land and sea. Morgan Stanley estimates that investments made via this initiative could reach $1.3 trillion in the next 10 years.
The major concern for the United States is the fact that China’s investments will allow it to build a network of geostrategic assets across the Indo-Pacific region. In case the borrower governments fail to pay off the loans, China might take over the infrastructure, which could serve as a base for the Chinese military in future.
The trilateral partnership is intended to stop China from making its goals successful by offering Asian countries an alternative to Beijing’s scheme of providing investments, so that these nations do not necessarily have to solely depend on China for improving their infrastructure.
The Investment Plans So Far
Australia and Japan joined the United State’s Indo-Pacific strategy to pump funds into the Asian countries that seek capital to build infrastructure. Although details about the funds haven’t been disclosed by the pact yet, it is known that the United States plans to invest $113 million as part of the strategy. According to Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, the country plans to invest $25 million to increase its technology exports to the Indo-Pacific region and another $50 million to assist nations in importing, producing and storing their energy reserves and build a support network to aid infrastructure development.
Overall, this strategy could help a few Asian stocks gain.
Stocks in Focus
Headquartered in Singapore, Kulicke and Soffa Industries Inc. (KLIC - Free Report) is a provider of electronic assembly solutions and semiconductor packaging. The company carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and has gained 10.3% year to date. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current year earnings has moved upward by 4.3% in the past 30 days.
India based Infosys Limited (INFY - Free Report) designs, develops and provides technology-based business solutions and sports a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company has gained 25.7% year to date. In the past one month, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s current year earnings has moved up 0.9%.
Wipro Limited (WIT - Free Report) , which is also headquartered in India, is a provider of information technology services and solutions to global corporations and has a Zacks Rank #3. The company’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for the current year hasn’t changed in the past four weeks.
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