India’s G20 Presidency is a big deal, India also holds the Chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and has just concluded the Presidency of UNSC. With its vaccine maitri global outreach and as the world’s fastest growing major economy, India has cemented its place on the word stage. India’s plans until the final G20 Summit in September 2023 are “ambitious, inclusive, action-oriented, and decisive”. India is hosting the largest ever number of participants from 43 heads of delegations and India intends to make a difference globally.
The Presidency falls during ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, which to Indians is an emotionally significant initiative of the Modi Government to celebrate 75 years of independence, with a powerful programme of sharing 5000 years of the history of India’s people, culture and achievements. India will hold events the length and breadth of the country to showcase the wondrous diversity and modernisation of India.
As G20 President, India intends to develop and strengthen international support for energy and environment, agriculture, trade, digital economy, cyber security, health, employment, tourism, anti-corruption and women’s empowerment, including in focus areas that impact the most vulnerable and disadvantaged, in the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (a Sanskrit philosophy understood as the world is one family with one future).
Presently the G20 accounts for circa 80% of gross world product, 75% of international trade, 64% of the global population, and 60% of the world's land area. Prime Minister Modi believes there is scope for broadening the G20 to include representatives not only from the African Union but South America and countries from the Global South. This gives clear insight into the New India world view and his multilateral ambitions for the assembly, this is supported by the close strategic relationships PM Modi has been forging with Brazil and South Africa.
On New Year’s Day The Sunday Guardian-India published a comprehensive supplement that contained all interested parties need to know about how India sees herself as integral to the QUAD in the Indo-Pacific and as a global force for good, a compilation of 38 articles from International contributors that broadcast India’s aspirations and trajectory. Read more at the India G20 Special Supplement - The Sunday Guardian
The GBC is pleased to share a focused brief:
GBC supporter, Professor MD Nalapat’s leader asserts Prime Minister, Narendra Modi is determined that the G20 year will end with setting up new elements of a global monetary architecture that could soon replace the Bretton Woods structure, that was created during a period when the US and Europe dominated trade and commerce. Nalapat believes the UNSC, the IMF and the IBRD need to be better representative of the C21st world. He suggests adding to the G20 similarly representative bodies to the EU from Asia, Africa and South America because the Bretton Woods system created tailwinds for the developed countries outside the Soviet bloc and headwinds for the rest.
A favourite focus is defence of the Indo Pacific and its Himalayan border, particularly the Indian Ocean, and India’s role in the Quad, Grant Newsham writes “If you can read a map you can understand India’s importance to the Quad—and vice versa….The United States hasn’t got the “bandwidth” of any sort—military, diplomatic, commercial—to hold its own in the Indian Ocean Region….And India’s local knowledge and intelligence coverage—not least of Chinese political warfare efforts throughout the region—are better than anyone else’s, by far. India is in the forefront of dealing with two of the main threats facing the free-world for the foreseeable future: The Chinese Communist Party and “extremism.” Read more here: India’s importance to the Quad - The Sunday Guardian
In his OpEd Harald Malmgren cites Presidents Clinton’s mistake in throwing open the gates of the WTO to China with no regard “for what this might mean for other nations in Asia or for the entire trading world…in 2023 many Asian nations are in a predicament whether to befriend China, or the US…The Quad is intended to be enhanced defence, assisting its members when threatened by other nations. It will not be designed to take offensive actions against neighbours.”
Read more here: The US and the Quad - The Sunday Guardian
Cleo Paskal writes “India is one of the few major countries that in the Pacific Islands, can give China a run for its money—literally. Unlike the other three Quad members, India is much more economically compatible with the developing economies of the region.” Paskal heralds PM Modi’s trip to Papua New Guinea as transformational for the Pacific Island Countries.
Darren Spinck concurs “India and its partners have the wherewithal to reshape the region’s trade policies to no longer overwhelmingly favour the state-controlled Chinese market, and maintain peace and prosperity throughout the Indo-Pacific”.
Ambassador Shiv Shanker Nair applauds India’s practical foreign policy, and Modi’s diplomatic and commercial outreach that stretches from Portugal to South Africa, Guyana, Fiji, Mauritius and Surinam, the Middle East and Israel.
Both Gordon Chang and Dr A. Adityanjee warn about the threat from the totalitarian CCP and Xi’s hegemonic Chinese Dream, and how past illusions about working with China must be give way o reality. Dr Adityanjee advocates “A genuine alliance of democracies using all the available international cooperation mechanisms including UN, WTO, APEC, G-7, G-20 must put a stop on Xi Jinping’s dreams” And Chang insists “For the United States, there is no more an important democratic ( and military) partner than India, the world’s most populous free society.”
Read more here:
Maura Moynihan takes a different tack, she writes of CCP inspired unwarranted discrimination against India should be raised with the G-20, Monihan reports “More Americans are asking if the chaos and demoralization of our society is a stratagem of the CCP’s doctrine of “Unrestricted Warfare” deploying simultaneous biological, information and economic warfare… With the G-20 presidency, India can alert the world to the CCP threat.”
Read more here: India leads the G-20 in 2023 - The Sunday Guardian
Sunil Chakco brings a view from Japan writing that it is time for new institutions “Together, the nations of the G-20 account for around 80 percent of global economic output, nearly 75 percent of global exports, and about 60 percent of the world’s population. It was originally constructed to be a grouping of the top 20 economies. When first designed, Nigeria was to have been a member, but for an inexplicable reason, it did not join and was replaced by the European Union as the 20th member.
This has also led to the demand this year from AU Chairman Macky Sall, President of Senegal, and G7 Chair Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan, for the African Union (AU) to become a Member of the G-20. Perhaps if all regional groupings such as EU, AU, ASEAN etc. are kept as observers (as for example the IMF is), a country like Nigeria could be admitted and the nomenclature of G-20 could be preserved. If not, the G-20 will become the G24 or so. India, holding the current one-year Presidency of the G-20, will have to take the lead in bringing consensus.”
Hindol Sengupta writes about India’s digital transformation “More and more interactions which involve the state, the market, and the citizen are being digitally-driven in India. This is formulating a global case study, which is going to be presented during India’s G-20 presidency.” India is likely to share the experience and expertise that has led to this transformation with emerging economies.
Read more here: Creating a Digital Indian - The Sunday Guardian
It is evident on many levels be it the Quad, the mid-East Quad, the ever closer UK - India partnership, New India's geopolitical centrality is key to global stability, global security and global growth. And Prime Minister Modi’s high profile in the global diaspora enhances India’s power. India has recognised the importance of youth, engaging not only with the diaspora including with the vast global Indian community under 30-years old. In India manufacturing is a priority, from semiconductors to finished electronic products are now ramping up with the Make in India programme, making India a C21st electronics hub; building nearly 40 state of the art ships and submarines for the Indian Navy, holding military exercises with the US and with the UK. On 6 January The Royal Navy’s HMS Tamar, sailed to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as part of its permanent deployment in the Indo-Pacific. Over five days the ship and her crew will undertook capability demonstrations and maritime exercises with the Indian Navy. This New India is the trusted partner of choice with not only dependable supply chains but a dependable free democracy which is driving the global engine of growth.
Sir Philip Barton, UK’s most senior diplomat and Head of the UK Diplomatic Service, visited India on 16 January for the annual UK-India Strategic Dialogue.
The Global Britain Centre celebrates the UK-India 2030 Roadmap milestones achieved in 2022; including the agreement on Mutual Recognition of Academic Qualifications- the bespoke Young Professionals Scheme a scheme which provides 18 to 30 year old Indians to reside and work in the UK for 2 years at ease; and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch’s first visit to India last month for the sixth round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations.
Sir Philip Barton said “The UK and India are also increasingly working together multilaterally, including with the World Health Organisation and the international community on potential Malaria and Ebola vaccines. I was pleased to hear from Foreign Secretary Kwatra about India’s ambitious plans for its G20 Presidency. India is at the heart of the Indo-Pacific region, where half the world’s people live and 50% of global economic growth is produced. The UK is committed to working closely with India in making its Presidency a success.”
India’s economic opportunities are the UK's opportunities, just as India's security and defence issues are UK’s shared issues, underpinned by our shared values. This G20 Presidency will familiarise the global delegations with India’s mindset and centrality to geopolitics and geoeconomics, and in particular the defence of the frontier of freedom that is free and open Indo-Pacific.
The GBC strongly believes, Global Britain is well placed to further strengthen our unique and unparalleled partnership with a New India, rooted in shared values, shared languages and shared objectives to strengthen free democracy, free trade and free enterprise.
One Earth, One Family, One Future.