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CARBIS BAY, England, June 12 (Reuters) – The Group of Seven rich nations on Saturday backed a new global plan to help poorer countries build infrastructure in a bid to challenge China’s huge Belt and Road Initiative, the White House said.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration said leaders of the G7, meeting in southwestern England, approved the launch of the Build Back Better World (B3W) plan which would help narrow a $40 trillion infrastructure gap in the developing world.

“Today President Biden met with G7 leaders to discuss strategic competition with China and commit to concrete actions to help meet the tremendous infrastructure need in low- and middle-income countries,” the White House said.

The G7 and other “like-minded” partners would coordinate to raise private-sector capital for investment in climate, health and health security, digital technology, and gender equity and equality, backed by development finance institutions.

“B3W will be global in scope, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa to the Indo-Pacific,” the White House said.

“Different G7 partners will have different geographic orientations, but the sum of the initiative will cover low- and middle-income countries across the world.”

(Reporting by Steve Holland Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Kate Holton)