NEW DELHI (AP) — The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has stated that as the host of G20 this year, India aims to prioritize addressing issues faced by developing nations. Additionally, he has suggested that the African Union should have a permanent membership in the forum.
During his speech at the Business 20 summit in New Delhi on Sunday, Modi expressed his commitment to inclusiveness by extending an invitation to the African Union to join the G20 as a permanent member.
Next month, the B20 industry event will take place in the Indian capital as part of the summit involving 20 major rich and developing countries.
During a span of three days, global industry and policy leaders will engage in discussions encompassing various subjects including the establishment of robust supply chains, the digitization of operations, addressing the debt crisis affecting developing nations, and promoting climate change objectives. The organizers have expressed their intention to communicate their suggestions to the governments of G20 nations.
India, as the host of this year’s G20 summit, has been facing difficulties in reconciling divergent views among member states regarding the conflict in Ukraine. Despite numerous meetings conducted within the country, no official statement has been issued, prompting concerns about the upcoming leaders’ meeting and its potential to resolve the deadlock.
India has consistently urged the breakaway group to unite on matters that greatly impact developing nations, commonly referred to as the Global South. These include issues such as excessive debt, inflation, and the looming threat of climate change. This appeal remains intact, even if the broader disagreement between East and West concerning Ukraine remains unresolved.
Analysts emphasize the significance of involving the African Union in the G20 as a vital component of the strategy.
The statement made by External Affairs Minister Subramaniam Jaishankar highlighted the awareness that when India assumed the presidency of the G20, individuals from the Global South were not adequately represented at the table during meetings. This is significant as it pertains to crucial issues that needed to be addressed. Being a part of the Global South, India could not simply ignore this situation and had to take action.
According to him, the G20 has discussed several crucial matters impacting low- to middle-income nations such as increasing debt, sustainable development, climate action, and food security. He emphasized that the primary aim of the G20 is to foster economic growth and development. However, Jaishankar highlighted that progress cannot be made unless the significant concerns of the Global South are acknowledged and tackled.
Ministers and policy makers from various G20 nations, such as the United Kingdom and China, also participated in the three-day summit held in New Delhi.
China’s Vice Commerce Minister, Wang Shouwen, announced on Friday that trade between China and India is experiencing significant growth, despite recent tensions arising from deadly border clashes in 2020. He extended an invitation to India, welcoming them to join the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), an Asian trade bloc primarily centered around China, which was established in the previous year.
Joining the bloc, as stated by India’s Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, would boost trade between the two major Asian countries. However, it is important to note that it would also lead to an expansion of the trade deficit.
“We do not understand at what kind of price, at what kind of cost you are supplying the goods. This is something which I think all ministers would like to know. How can you supply goods at less than the cost of raw materials?”
We are unable to understand the pricing of the goods you are offering, which is a matter of concern for all ministers. They would greatly appreciate clarification on how you manage to supply goods at a price that is lower than the cost of raw materials.
As per official statistics, India holds the record for the largest trade deficit with China, amounting to $101.28 billion in the year 2022.
The person affiliated with this news article is Kritika Pathi of The Associated Press.