The consecutive Presidencies of the G20 for India, Brazil and South Africa provides a rare, unique opportunity to forge an agenda common to both the G20 and IBSA. The timing is coincident: with Russia and China consumed by conflict and zero-Covid respectively, BRICS has receded. IBSA can convert both crises into an opportunity and become relevant to the Global South’s current and future challenges.
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The last week of September was eventful for Russia. The partial-mobilisation was underway, the referendum of Russian-speaking regions in Ukraine took place, President Putin made a significant speech and the Nord Stream pipelines were damaged. Amit Bhandari, Energy Fellow, Gateway House, was in Moscow during this time. In this podcast, he offers his impressions of Moscow after the sanctions, compared with the city he saw before the Russia-Ukraine conflict
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.
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.
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 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.
In his new book, former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran demystifies China's imagined belief of itself as the Middle Kingdom. Contemporary China's propensity to cut and paste history has resulted in China's resentment of India based on a limited understanding of Indian history and of China's past recognition of India as an advanced civilisation which impacted Chinese culture. Today the West recognises India's potential to match China, with depth and skills, over the long term.