Mumbai, 19 October 2015: India’s first Think20 (T20) regional consultation on “Turkey, India and the G20″ brought together think tank experts from Turkey, China, India and Australia, business leaders from India and diplomatic representatives from the G20 countries to discuss issues concerning the G20. The observations and recommendations from the T20 meeting will be officially sent to the Turkish G20 Presidency.
Dr. Raghuram Rajan, Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, delivered the keynote address at the meeting. His complete speech is available here.
The opening session was followed by a Joint Think Tank and Business Session on “Assessing the Impact of Geopolitics on Business”. The session was moderated by Mohandas Pai, Chairman, Manipal Global Education; founder member, Gateway House; former CFO, Infosys Technologies. The panelists were Ambassador Halit Bozkurt Aran, Head of multilateral division, TEPAV, Turkey; Yaduvendra Mathur, Chairman EXIM Bank India; Rakesh Jhunjhunwala, Rare Enterprises and founder member Gateway House; Seshadri Chari, Executive Director, Forum for Strategic & Security Studies.
Mohandas Pai opened the discussion with emerging markets being the drivers of change and soon, the world’s dominant economic powers. This, he said, will be possible through innovations in the field of shale gas, solar energy, stem cell research etc. The next big change in the global economy, he continued, will be through investments in disruptive technologies that will change the existing systems of manufacturing.
Rakesh Jhunjhunwala talked about the re-emergence of China and India and stressed that emerging markets should be given their due position on global platforms. He opined that West Asia would lose its current global position due to the falling demand for oil.
Sheshadri Chari pointed out the problems of inequality of wealth and human resources and the importance of wealth redistribution and sustainable growth. Picking up on the thread of Dr. Rajan’s speech, he noted that in India, good economics does not mean good politics and gave the example of the 2004 elections in which the successful and reformist incumbents in Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu lost despite good economic performance.
Yaduvendra Mathur noted that geopolitical risk is now among the top five risks to businesses. He said that the Indian government has been supportive of businesses investing in regions like Africa as well as neighbouring SAARC. He noted that while the newly-formed trade groups like TPP and TTIP will be challenges for India, the RCEP is an opportunity for India to capitalise on. Indian businesses should move up the value chain and acquire overseas assets and integrate into the global value chains, he said.
Ambassador Halit Bozkurt Aran noted that since the multilateral systems are not working, the industrialised countries have formulated agreements that will be game changers.