By Saket Dalmia
India will assume the Presidency of the Group of Twenty (or G20) for one year from 01 December 2022 to 30 November 2023 and this is expected to be a turning point for further deepening India’s global footprints and reassuring its commitment for a world order with shared peace and prosperity. Under India’s Presidency, the deliberations including over 200 G20 meetings across the country, beginning December 2022 and G20 Leaders’ Summit at the level of Heads of State/Government in September 2023 at New Delhi will help in reorienting the international cooperation to meet with the existing as well as the emerging challenges in post-pandemic transition. As one of the fastest growing economies, India’s stake is undeniably high to reach unchartered territories in the next growth phase.
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The G20 Presidency for India is a watershed moment, with no parallel an intergovernmental forum like this of the major developed and developing economies, it offers an unprecedented opportunity for convergence with the nineteen highly significant countries in trade terms: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, UK, USA) and the European Union (EU). The alignment of G20 cooperation in the economic realm will be the game changer as collectively, the G20 accounts for 85% of global GDP, 75% of international trade and two-thirds of the world population, making it the premier forum for international economic cooperation.
India is currently part of the G20 Troika (current, previous and incoming G20 Presidencies) comprising Indonesia, Italy and India. During India’s imminent Presidency, India, Indonesia and Brazil would form the troika. This would be the first time when the troika would consist of three developing countries and emerging economies, providing them a greater voice at a very crucial juncture when the fundamentals are moving fast in reset mode. Structurally, the G20 is planned the way it will serve the causes, among others, of international cooperation at all major fronts:
-Finance Track, with 8 work streams (Global Macroeconomic Policies, Infrastructure Financing, International Financial Architecture, Sustainable Finance, Financial Inclusion, Health Finance, International Taxation, Financial Sector Reforms)
-Sherpa Track, with 12 work streams (Anti-corruption, Agriculture, Culture, Development, Digital Economy, Employment, Environment and Climate, Education, Energy Transition, Health, Trade and Investment, Tourism)
-10 Engagement Groups of Private Sector/Civil Society/Independent Bodies (Business 20, Civil 20, Labour 20, Parliament 20, Science 20, Supreme Audit Institutions 20, Think 20, Urban 20, Women 20 and Youth 20).
Another vital composition of the G20 Presidency will be continuation of its tradition inviting some Guest Countries and International Organisations to its G20 meetings and Summit. As the world’s largest democracy and a major world player in the economic and strategic domains, its unwavering commitment for democratic values and inclusive development has been always appreciated.
As India is now going to get the G20 Presidency and will be giving a much needed fresh momentum at the global arena, the list of the Guest Countries with Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and UAE, as well as International Solar Alliance (ISA), Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) as Guest International Organisations is again something keeping the terms with underlined priorities for the greater common good.
The G20 priorities are in the process of being firmed up and ongoing narratives revolve around inclusive, equitable and sustainable growth as such: Lifestyle For Environment (LiFE); women’s empowerment; digital public infrastructure and tech-enabled development in areas ranging from health, agriculture and education to commerce, skill-mapping, culture and tourism; climate financing; circular economy; global food security; energy security; green hydrogen; disaster risk reduction and resilience; developmental cooperation; fight against economic crime; and multilateral reforms.
In the recent years, the future role of multilateral organisations has been much debated and it would be a year of bright possibilities when the World Bank, United Nations (UN), International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Health Organisation (WHO), World Trade Organisation (WTO), International Labour Organisation (ILO), Financial Stability Board (FSB) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and Chairs of Regional Organisations African Union (AU), African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be participating in the G20—and thus enabling a new roadmap for the international development and cooperation.
In the post-pandemic transition, the world is facing the global strategic-economic fluctuations and the path of recovery is asymmetric across the frontiers where India’s G20 Presidency is epoch-making and is being seen with great expectations from all quarters including industry. In the challenged world order where the nations should ideally be on finding the ways of economic rebounding, such a common pattern is still elusive and that calls for a greater degree of international cooperation and clear consensus. India as the leading democracy and economy has proved to be one of the zones of hope to the world with its successful handling of an unprecedented crisis that came with Covid-19 pandemic.
India’s recognition by the World Bank as one of the top improvers on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) causes the world to feel sure about India’s relentless efforts for redefining the ways businesses operate in new times. Notwithstanding the issues facing the economies in the neighbourhood, India’s growth fundamentals are keeping South Asia on the world map as a region of progressive economic performance. As a believer of peaceful coexistence Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world is a family), India’s eminent position in South Asia and the world at large inspires the major economies of the world to have a collaborative approach.
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India’s G20 Presidency is well-timed and concerted efforts through the deliberations should go a long way in remarkably shaping the way the world is responding to the pressing challenges of our time. The time ahead should be used for reaching uncharted territories; industry should participate from the front in such a historic transforming phase.
(Saket Dalmia is the president, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI). The views expressed in the article are of the author and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)