2023 brings responsibility and opportunity for India. As the host of the G20 and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the world will be watching closely. With this authority, comes challenges encapsulated by five C’s: Covid, Contraction, Climate crisis, Conflict and China. If India is able to use its opportunity, the year could end with India viewed as a near-great power, an international bridge-builder, and a successful democracy.
On Dec 1, India will take over the Presidency of the G20, the premier global forum for dialogue and cooperation on global economics and financial issues. This is a unique grouping, where developing and developed countries come together with equal status. Understanding its mission, past trajectory, institutional mechanisms, work methods, and the multiplicity of challenges it addresses, is critical today and requires a serious examination.
Brazil will head to the polls in a runoff this month to choose its next president. Will it be incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, or former president Lula da Silva? Both are popular with their voter bases, but both have hurdles to overcome, most notably the economy, and have differences on their global political alignment – particularly important as Brazil will be the G20 President in 2024.
India hosted the 13th BRICS summit on September 9, celebrating 15 years of the multilateral. The leaders committed to fighting terrorism and reforming multilateral organisations, among other diverse aspects. However, the grouping clearly needs better implementation strategies if the agreements reached, are to be truly successful.
India’s oil consumption and imports are likely to resume their upward trajectory as the economy opens up, after a temporary drop due to the pandemic. To secure its energy needs, the country should shift course from investing in oil and gas assets of emerging economies to those of developed nations. The oil-rich Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, such as Canada, Norway, and the U.S. can be given special consideration.
The U.K. is out of the EU, and re-positioning itself into the idea of Global Britain, seeking partnerships into diverse groupings and regions. India was an early strategic, defence and digital outreach, but a serious pivot has been made to broader Asia for trade and investment linkages, with vigorous follow-up. The re-entry and acceptance of Britain in Asia, has implications.
On January 14, 2021, Gateway House co-hosted a webinar with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on G20’s future: Italy, Indonesia, India. The panel included Marco Felisati, B20 Sherpa, Italy, Dr. M Chatib Basri, Former Minister of Finance, Indonesia, and Sanjeev Sanyal, Principal Economic Advisor, Government of India.
India's presence in the UNSC in 2021 provides a unique opportunity to bring India’s capacities and performance to global notice. It will be on the inside track for critical issues like the election of a new UN Secretary General, and defining global issues like the Corona pandemic and climate change, but must also use its position to prioritise counter terrorism and maritime security, especially with Chinese expansionism in the Indo-Pacific.
On 23 July, Gateway House co-hosted a webinar with Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung on QUAD or QUAD?. The panel included Dr.C Raja Mohan, Dr. Malcolm Davis, Tetsuo Kotani, Alexander Slater, Peter Rimmele and Manjeet Kripalani
Can India integrate more fully into the global economy and energise its trade by joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Or will negotiating an entry require significant concessions, not necessarily in India’s interests? These outcomes will depend on how TPP framework itself develops – inclusively or exclusively