G-7 or Group of Seven consists of the world’s seven largest and the most developed markets. G-7 was formed in 1975 as a response to the 1973 Oil Crisis, the group, initially consisted of 6 countries reportedly, France, United Kingdom, United States of America, Japan, Germany (west) to restructure the world order. The G-7 was officially termed when Canada joined the group in 1976. The Group was also renamed as G-8 upon the inclusion of Russia in 1998, however, Russia was expelled in 2014.
The foremost objective of the G-7 countries is to address international economic and monetary issues and help to resolve the global concerns with a deeper emphasis on economic matters. Government leaders take the presidency on a rotatory basis and conduct the summits in their respective countries. Since it is a group with no official headquarters, hence not being a formal entity, thus holds no authoritative and legislative power to enforce the recommended policies.
With the evolving interactions among the national economies, it has been observed that the level of synchronicity is increasing at a faster pace, globally. The relationship that the Indian Business Cycle holds specifically with U.S.A, U.K, Germany and Japan have always transformed over time and these countries are also the major Investment and Trading Partners of India.
With broadening and advancing technologies, come fast pacing challenges in every field in this global era, today, the focus has shifted to a wider perspective, the leadership must be provided to manage an integrated world, and to meet today’s challenges, modern as well as upgradable structure and leadership must be provided as a solution in the form of Collective Leadership.
Collective Leadership can be described as an array of consensus among a wider group. The locale of the World Economic Activity is multi-polar including Asia and Europe. The forte of G-7 must be expanded so that the vision can be enhanced on a global platform.
In the past decades since the formation of G-7, rising markets have grown to become far more important to the global economy and large emerging markets like China and India have come to be crucial to every issue of collective action, that G-7 is pre-occupied with global concerns, both the countries have been a part of G-20 but not G-7 forum.
Even the call that happened among Donald Trump, former president of U.S.A and Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister to India, Trump conveyed his desire to expand the Group beyond the existing membership, to involve other important countries like India, and he extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to attend the Summit, which was scheduled to be held on June 10, 2020, however, the summit was cancelled due to the global pandemic.
This year, again, an invitation was sent to the Prime Minister by the President of United Kingdom, Boris Johnson, to attend the summit as Guest, like Trump, Boris Johnson is also keen to expand the membership of G-7 and has further invited South Korea and Australia to attend the summit along with India to the Cornwall. However, there must be a consensus of all the seven countries to include the new members in the group.
Along with the evolving world, the focus has also been shifting to the Indo-Pacific Region, in the 21st century along with India as the centre. India, which is known as the world’s largest democracy has become an accelerator of global economic growth.
In the years ahead, it can be indicated that the relationship between India and United Kingdom will become stronger and firmer since the countries share similar interests across many various levels. After the constant robust growth, India has been able to become the world’s sixth-largest economy and will soon surpass United Kingdom itself to become the fifth. Though due to the global pandemic, all the countries have seen a major shift in their respective economies, however, it is believed that India will regain its economy very soon.
Significance for India
The British government is keen on expanding a G-7 to a D-10, as it will provide a whole new forum for the 10 leading democracies of the world to connect and gather for discussions like Global Governance and it will also serve as a platform to those countries to work together and indorse a free and open international order. The economic centre no longer sits at the North Atlantic as the fiscal point have been shifted to Central Asia, having been pulled there by the industrial modernisation of economies in the Indo-Pacific.
For New Delhi, the G-7 Summit can act as an opportunity to further strengthen the global dimensions of India’s growing partnerships with US and Europe. Biden is more inclined towards strengthening the US Alliances and drawing India into a new global architecture.
India’s Quad Agreements with US, Japan and Australia, the summit was all about defining a new agenda for a particular geography, the Indo-Pacific; India’s current involvement with G-7 is about Global Issues. Johnson is more eager towards building a coalition of leading democracies. The democratic coalition’s idea is more broadly based than the geographic west has gained in recent years and India rests at the very heart of the western calculus.
For India, this Cornwall summit holds a greater significance amidst intensifying the strategic cooperation with the west, this includes many Bilateral, Trilateral and Quad lateral Agreements with the G-7 countries and beyond, Moreover, India has also been successful in stepping up its engagement with the European Union.
While talking of the significance, India will have a greater say, more influence and power by entering the G-7, After the United Nations Security Council, G-7 holds the title of the most influential groupings of the world. Diplomatically speaking, a seat at the high table could help to strengthen India its security and foreign policy interests and will also act as a shield in protecting its interests in the Indian Ocean. Its perspective will be of great importance and influence in the years ahead.
This article was written before the G7 Summit 2021.