Indonesia has managed its G20 Presidency year by understanding the importance of not going it alone. This trading nation has used its deep regional and multilateral cooperative processes which provided trusted back-up and support at every step, and was book-ended by strong linkages and investment partnerships with Japan and Australia. In this, it has laid the groundwork for India’s 2023 presidency.
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G20 President Indonesia, hosted the Think-20 (T20) Summit in Bali 4-6 September. The recommendations of the working groups resonate in the Leaders’ Statement released at the G20 Leaders’ Summit. The T20 Task Force on Open Trade, Sustainable Investment and Industry published its notes on multilateral trade reform, digital trade, health. Yose Rizal Damuri of CSIS, is the Lead Co-Chair of this Task Force.
India is stepping into a new era of free trade agreements in the midst of turbulent global waters that bring both risks and opportunities. A fragile global recovery can dampen demand for India’s goods, but it can also attract medium and high-tech manufacturing sectors leaving China, benefit from technology and skill transfer from abroad and lay a strong foundation for growth.
Russia, the founding member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), has been hit by Western sanctions on its energy exports and financial system. Still, Ivan Timofeev, Director of Programs at the Russian International Affairs Council, sees new opportunities to be seized. Deepening India-Russia business engagement is one, and the SCO as a constructive and accommodating force is another. K.A. Dhananjay from Gateway House spoke to Timofeev who visited Mumbai recently.
Delhi and Dhaka are fully conscious that they must get this vital equation right, constantly strengthening and deepening their cooperation and countering the challenges they face. In this, the contributions of the Sheikh Hasina government in nurturing the special ‘bonding’ is enormous and widely appreciated.
An estimated 9 million Central Asians reside and work in Russia, and almost every major city in the country is dependent on their labour. It’s a marriage of convenience but beneficial all around. Russia gets modernised infrastructure, while remittances bring in much-needed capital to Central Asia.
The Japan-Africa partnership continues to be emphasised. The goal is to build human capital, sustainable and high-quality growth and the security and stability of the global order in which government, business, and civil society leaders participate on an equal basis. It is an opportunity for Indian companies to work together in Africa, to achieve bilateral goals.
India will be president of the G20 in 2023. The world’s most influential economic governance body is facing an existential crisis, where the major powers have fallen out. With geopolitical currents redefining geo-economics, India needs to be ready to emerge as the chief global diplomat.
India is slowly entering new trade frontiers, and there is much to prepare, says economist Amita Batra. Trade policy must look ahead at the ‘WTO plus’ provisions which are beyond tariff-based market access, and services, India’s strength, should be an integral part of any trade deal. For those efforts to succeed, domestic reform is urgently needed.
Since 1947, India has had a proud record of development cooperation. It began even though it was newly independent and itself developing, but created a camaraderie with movements in other emerging countries. Now after 75 years, its time to move toward an FDI-led model, which will particularly help reduce the rising indebtedness in the developing world.