G20 Summit in July: Optimism Despite Setbacks

G20 Summit in July: Optimism Despite Setbacks

Indian Deputy Minister of Finance, Jayant Narlikar was there to talk about the Indian position. He stressed the need to come up with policy tools and indicators to achieve and measure inclusive growth.

On March 31st, the German Embassy in New Delhi held an interactive session on the goals and deliverables for the upcoming G20 Summit under the German presidency. Representatives from the German and Indian finance ministries presented their countries’ hopes and expectations for the summit and engaged in a panel discussion with experts on finance and economics from India.

The G20 summits started in 1999, initiated by Germany as an extension of the G8 format and this year's summit, which is taking place from 7 to 8 July in Hamburg, Germany, is the 12th of its kind.

Andreas Lux, Head of the German Finance Ministry's G20 Presidency Team, outlined the three core objectives for the summit; 'Building Resilience', 'Improving Sustainability' and 'Assuming Responsibility'. In regard to finance, the German priorities are building resilience in the global economy, enhancing investment conditions in Africa and shaping digitalisation in the financial sector.

While G20 members reaffirmed their commitment "to international and financial cooperation" in the March 18 Baden Baden communiqué, Lux criticised the lack of a similar commitment on trade and shared that he was "hoping for much more positive language against protectionism at the Hamburg Summit." Dr Shubhada Rao, chief economist at YES Bank who was part of a panel discussion later in the event, believed that economics would eventually prevail over politics and put an end to protectionist tendencies.

Indian Deputy Minister of Finance, Jayant Narlikar was there to talk about the Indian position. He stressed the need to come up with policy tools and indicators to achieve and measure inclusive growth. The difficulty lied in the multidimensionality of inclusivity, Narlikar remarked, in light of inequality between but also within countries. There is a lot of agreement between India and Germany in terms of the G20 agenda, for instance on tax transparency. "Taxes should be paid where they are earned," the deputy minister demanded. However in regard to climate policy, he stressed that some expectations were too high, especially for SMEs, and that India's developmental agenda was the key priority. Lastly, he made the case for more mobility of skilled labour, which India with its demographic dividend could provide and developed countries with their aging population desperately needed.

Panellists at the interactive session came out in favour of the summit and multilateralism in general. Jan-Ole Peters, German Finance Ministry, said that G20 was not at an end. There might be disappointments and setbacks at times but what mattered was that the 20 strongest economies were still talking and working on problems together. Ms Anoopa Nair, Indian Ministry of Finance, agreed, saying that it was very easy to criticise the G20 talks but only because of how tough the questions were that are being discussed in this forum. It was not a central planning board but a place for negotiations, the results of which would be taken back to the G20 countries where the effects of the talks would be seen gradually.

Prime Minister Modi, will of course be attending the summit in July, however, the PM will also be visiting Germany in May for the 4th Indo-German Intergovernmental Consultations to further enhance the close ties between the two countries.

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