India @ G20 : A Primer on Priorities

Economic growth, industrialization, infrastructure and access to energy provide the foundations of development for any growing economy.

Germany assumed the G20 Presidency on 1 December 2016. On 7 and 8 July 2017, the eyes of the world will turn to the G20 Summit in Hamburg, where the Heads of State and Government of major industrialized and emerging market economies will meet to deliberate on the priorities identified by the German presidency for the upcoming Summit as outlined below:-

‘Building Resilience’ is the prime objective of the G20 and with this in mind this grouping has set itself the task of increasing the stability and resilience of economies, and thus of the global economy as a whole. Global economic growth had taken quite a blow in recent times and therefore become much weaker overall than it did after previous economic downturns. As a result, public and private debt across various regions, Central banks’ interest rates got negatively impacted in many G20 countries. Structural reforms in G20 countries, with focus on fiscal and monetary policies are the key to stability and long-term sustainability. Strengthening global economic resilience being the foremost objective of the G20 establishment, immediate spotlight falls on the financial architecture being historically designed by each economy as well as the innovative financial models which have worked during transitory times. This leads to the development of financial markets where deeper trade and investment relationships get nurtured, such constructive permutations thus enhances the quality of life as well as improves the general well-being of the people. India’s focus on building resilience in its economic framework has been strengthened through innovative financial models which have been introduced to ensure the provision of a safety net for businesses to fall back upon during unprecedented downturns. The fact that India could subvert the recent downturn was proof of the existing resilience.

The second prime objective of G20 is ‘Improving Sustainability’. Under this aspect, the G20 has identified sustainability as a comprehensive goal with an aim to strike a right balance between growth, development, human welfare and environment. Recognizing ‘Sustainability’ as one of the most significant global challenges, the G20 has embarked on a collective journey to prepare the world for a sustainable and resilient global economy. Formation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement demonstrates the scale and ambition of this new Universal Agenda. The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised. As a result various economies have undertaken initiatives for realization of these goals. Structural reforms can be witnessed by the G20 countries in areas of climate change, digital technology, health and empowering women. India’s focus on building sustainability has been strengthened by the introduction of an array of initiatives. The fact that India’s development goals are aligned with the SDG’s is evident through the much talked about campaigns launched over the recent years such as Make in India, Digital India, Skill India, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, National Solar Mission, National Wind Energy Mission, Renewable Energy by 2022 etc. India has also pledged under the Copenhagen Accord to reduce its CO2 intensity (emissions per GDP) by 20 to 25 percent by 2020.

‘Assuming Responsibility’ of areas which impact global peace and security, the G20 also focuses upon economic development, strengthening cooperation and global partnerships across borders. The world is currently experiencing one of the largest refugee flows since the Second World War. With Britain’s exit from EU, the need for new approaches to be adopted by various economies has never been of paramount importance than it is now to safeguard strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth- thereby improving international cooperation. The Focus Story India @ G20 : A Primer on Priorities India @ G20 : A Primer on Priorities Multilateral Newsletter 3 Focus Story G20 will also aim towards strengthening regional initiatives through cooperation with interested African Countries. Fighting corruption, combating terrorist financing, money laundering and improving food security takes the centre stage for G20. India has undertaken several initiatives to combat these global challenges and the same can be witnessed through its initiatives on demonetization, establishing strategies such as strengthening of The Unlawful Activities Act, creation of Combating Financing of Terrorism (CFT) Cell. India has also initiated the enhancement on production under the National Food Security Mission, measures such as decentralized procurement are also aimed to bring in good practices on transparency and convenience. India has established The National Food Security Act with the objective to provide for food and nutritional security in human life cycle approach, by ensuring access to adequate quantity of quality food at affordable prices to people to live a life with dignity. India stands to gain from G20 knowledge sharing and best practices of improving food security without increasing water consumption to unsustainable levels. The same can then also form part of implementation under the National Water Policy of India.

Today, much of India’s development agenda is mirrored in the Sustainable Development Goals. This is further enunciated since India is already aligned with G20 Agenda for Promoting inclusiveness of the global economic growth, and is poised to lead the move to strengthen cooperation among G20 countries and also all others for exchange of information between different countries.

Source: Multilateral Newsletter January 2017

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