On January 14, 2021, Gateway House co-hosted a webinar with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on G20’s future: Italy, Indonesia, India. The panel included Marco Felisati, B20 Sherpa, Italy, Dr. M Chatib Basri, Former Minister of Finance, Indonesia, and Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India.
The virtual Panel Discussion (14 January 2021) on “G20’s Future: Italy, Indonesia, India” was designed to raise awareness about the Italian presidency and its possible synergy with the two subsequent presidencies. It revolved around three key themes: macro view of the G20’s role; sectoral questions ranging from health to economy, sustainable development and more; and specific country perspectives of the present and future Chairs.
a) G20’s role: Faced with a grave crisis created by the pandemic, G20, which held two virtual summits during 2020, performed quite well. Its tangible achievements included G20 Action Plan, Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and incremental progress on other important matters.
b) Multilateralism: The world needs more, not less, multilateral cooperation to resolve a host of challenges it faces. Multilateralism offers the best and perhaps the only path to international peace, security and prosperity. D10, the British-proposed grouping of democracies (as an expansion of G7), may have a useful role to play, but it cannot replace G20. The latter is free of ideological bias, and the presence of China gives it considerable weight.
c)Sectoral focus:G20’s attention is on the economy, health and sustainable development, with a special focus to MSMEs by the B20 sub-forum.
1)In 2020, the G20 members successfully persuaded the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to review the existing Credit Ratings system which has a developed country bias. New, more equitable norms are now included in the Action Plan for change.
2)The 2021 Italian Presidency will re-emphasize the Health Track and focus on life science and global emergencies.
3)The Italian B20 will focus on the MSME sector and lead efforts to create policy tools and boost access to export credit and insurance to MSMEs.
d) Country perspectives – Role of the three “I”s in the G20 2021-23:
1)Italian presidency is driven by ‘People, Planet, and Prosperity.’ It will focus on health and prevention of future pandemics, economic recovery, cybersecurity, access to water, and climate change.
2)Indonesia may accord priority to combatting inequalities, ensuring sustainability, and access to digital technology.
3)India will continue its intense combat against Covid-19, stabilize and expand economic growth, making it more inclusive. It will also promote global cooperation and purposeful multilateralism as its chief instrument to assist the world and assert its global leadership.
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