The G20's agenda has expanded over the past decade to include Africa. India should use the opportunity of its upcoming presidency of the G20 in 2022 to further cement its relationship with Africa and pursue a multilateral agenda from within the G20 for a more equal partnership with Africa.
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Ambassador Rajiv Bhatia, Distinguished Fellow, Foreign Policy Studies Programme, Gateway House delivered the opening remarks at the 2020 Asia Economic and Entrepreneurship Summit, in the lead-up to the session, - The Future of Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation in a Sustainable VUCA World – What to Expect? What Next? The Summit was jointly organised by the KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific (KSI), The Pacific Basin Economic Council (PBEC) and China Daily Asia Pacific (CD), Kuala Lumpur, 8 September 2020.
India and Mexico will both be non-permanent members at the UNSC for 2021-22. Although located on different sides of the globe, culturally, the two countries share more in common than expected. As fellow non-permanent members of the UN Security Council as well as pro-active members of G20, the two countries need to intensify their mutual dialogue and cooperation on how to overcome the current weakening and impasse in the multilateral system.
The Quad, a grouping of Indo-Pacific democracies, is more relevant than ever. It must now operationalise not just the military exchanges but also formalise economic and technology partnerships that will undergird a meaningful new multilateral, provide it with resilience and appeal in the Indo-Pacific region. In this Webcast, co-hosted by Gateway House and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, the panelists discuss the need to reform Quad, which hosts the four leading global voices, in order for it to become the magnet that attracts like-minded nations, small and big cutting across continents and oceans to converge on the new world order realities.
In the past five months, India has seen great change: ambitious economic reforms, billions in U.S. digital investments and a determined military and digital push back against China. India is now using the strategic and market weight of its 1.3 billion population and openly taking geopolitical sides to achieve its desired positioning, namely, to be a reliable partner in a more equitable global supply chain of virtual, physical and geopolitical elements.
The recent 15th India-European Union (EU) summit held virtually in July 2020 reflects a bilateral that is gearing for a boost, with both sides trying to move closer in a variety of ways. A serious effort will be required to properly reconcile strategic, trade and investment interests.
The COVID crisis compelled a change in the Business20 (B20) focus areas to reviving health, health facilities and business activity in 2020. India must start work now to give the B20 even greater responsiveness and relevance as the prospective G20 chair in 2022.
China’s escalating actions in the wake of the COVID-19 catastrophe is a calculated strategic diversion and risk. In the Indo-Pacific, tensions between China and the U.S., Australia, India and others are building momentum. As a geopolitical partnership, the relevance of the Quad is now proven. There are clear ways to empower it immediately, and make it a resilient grouping.
Globalisation has resulted in the interdependence of nations through the largely unimpeded transmission of investment capital and information, and integrated business operations. The leading beneficiaries have been the global 1%, and China. While it is too late and not possible to roll back an interconnected world order, globalization as we know it will recede, as will China’s standing in the world.
The G20 will prove vital in maintaining economic balance in the post-COVID world. The strains are many, but like the financial crisis of 2008, this could be a defining moment for its members to exercise delicate diplomacy to combat the challenges of COVID-19.