The G20 is a grouping of significant economies which account for 80% of the world’s GDP, including the developed and developing world. The theme of the G20 summit, which will be held from 15-17 November 2014, in Brisbane, Australia is growth and resilience. Neelam Deo, director at Gateway House, comments on the G20 grouping and the significance of the summit for India.
“The G20 summit, which will take place from 15-17 November in Brisbane, Australia, will focus on an action plan to raise global GDP by $2 trillion over the next 5 years.
Not all countries affected by the financial crisis have been able to bounce back – the EU and Japan, for instance, remain stagnant. Under Australia’s energetic chairmanship, issues such as increasing quality investment in infrastructure, reducing trade barriers, and job creation will be taken up at the summit. These are significant issues for India, but it is not a part of key free trade discussions in Asia, mainly the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.
Other issues to be discussed at the summit include financial regulation reforms, addressing corruption, reform of institutions such as the IMF, and strengthening the energy market.
The Indian economy has picked up due to optimism generated by the new government’s reformism. However, India needs to sustain high growth rates over decades to combat its development challenges. This will require major investment in infrastructure, and enhanced engagement with the global economy. Modernising the international tax system and addressing corruption are important issues for India.
The relevance of the G20 grouping has been questioned lately due to the inability of member countries to agree on issues such as trade liberalisation and reform of the global financial governance architecture. The lack of consensus is partly due to member countries being at different stages of development. For instance, India’s continued resistance to the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement due to its unaddressed concerns on food security will pose a challenge at the G20 forum.
The G20 is a powerful and economically significant grouping – the summit provides an opportunity for leaders from 20 major economies to create consensus. For the grouping to remain as relevant as it was in addressing the 2008 financial crisis, not only will the leaders who attend the G20 summit need to be resolute in pushing forward the reform agenda, but also developed countries will need to be mindful of the needs and concerns of developing countries”
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