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India’s growth and development with G-20

Updated: Apr 27, 2023

The G20 or the Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum comprising of 19 countries and European Union (EU). It works to address the issues related to the global economy. The G20 is composed of most of the world’s largest economies, including both industrialized and developing nations. It accounts for around 80% of Gross World Product (GWP), 75% of international trade, two-thirds of the global population, and 60% of the world’s landmass.

Current members of G20 are:

1. Argentina

2. Australia

3. Brazil

4. Canada

5. China

6. France

7. Germany

8. India

9. Indonesia

10. Italy

11. Japan

12. Mexico

13. Russia

14. Saudi Arabia

15. South Africa

16. South Korea

17. Turkey

18. United Kingdom

19. United States of America

20. European Union

History of G20:

The G20 was founded in 1999 in response to several world economic crises. Since 2008 it has convened at least once a year. The G20 is the latest in a series of post – World War 2 initiatives aimed at international coordination on economic policy which includes institutions such as the “Bretton Woods Twins”, International Monetary Funds and The World Bank. The debut summit took place in Washington D.C. this summit was held in the year 2008.

Some major topics discussed in summits:

1. Agriculture (2011) (France)

2. Tourism (2012) (Mexico)

3. Sustainable Development Goals (2030 Agenda) (2016) (China)

India as President of G20 in 2023:

India has been elected as president for G20 in the year 2023. This presidency is based on rotation system. But this leadership could be the golden opportunity for India. The 43 Heads of Delegations will be participating in the final New Delhi Summit in September 2023. The theme of India’s Presidency is “ Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”.

Following are the agenda to be discussed in G20 summit:

· Green Development, Climate Finance & LiFE

The opportunity to lead G20 comes at a time of compounding existential threat, with the COVID-19 pandemic having exposed the fragilities of our systems under the cascading impacts of climate change. In this regard, climate change is a key priority for India’s presidential Presidency, with a particular focus towards not only climate finance and technology, but also ensuring just energy transitions for developing nations across the world.

Understanding that the issue of climate change cuts across industry, society, and sectors, India offers the world LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment) -a behaviour-based movement that draws from our nation's rich, ancient sustainable traditions to nudge consumers, and in-turn markets, to adopt environmentally-conscious practices. This ties closely with India’s G20 theme: 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' or 'One Earth. One Family. One Future.

· Accelerated, Inclusive & Resilient Growth

An accelerated, resilient and inclusive growth is a cornerstone for sustainable development. During its G20 Presidency, India aims to focus on areas that have the potential to bring structural transformation. This includes an ambition to accelerate integration of MSMEs in global trade, bring in the spirit of trade for growth, promote labour rights and secure labour welfare, address global skills gap, and build inclusive agricultural value chains and food systems etc.

· Accelerating progress on SDGs

India's G20 Presidency collides with the crucial midpoint of the 2030 Agenda. As such, India acknowledges the detrimental impact of COVID-19, which changed the current decade of action into a decade of recovery. In line with this perspective, India wants to focus on recommitting G20's efforts to achieving the targets laid out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

· Technological Transformation & Digital Public Infrastructure

As G20 Presidency, India can foreground its belief in a human-centric approach to technology, and facilitate greater knowledge-sharing in priority areas like digital public infrastructure, financial inclusion, and tech-enabled development in sectors ranging from agriculture to education.

· Multilateral Institutions for the 21st century

India's G20 priority will be to continue pressing for reformed multilateralism that creates more accountable, inclusive just, equitable and representative multipolar international system that is fit for addressing the challenges in the 21st century.

· Women-led development

India hopes to use the G20 forum to highlight inclusive growth and development, with women empowerment and representation being at the core of India's G20 deliberations. This includes a focus on bringing women to the fore, and in leading positions, in order to boost socio-economic development and achievement of SDGs.

India kick-started its presidency term agenda with a series of cultural initiatives that included various Jan Bhagidari activities, a special University Connect event with 75 educational institutions from across the country, the lighting up of 100 ASI monuments with the G20 logo and colours, and showcasing G20 at the Hombill festival in Nagaland. Sand artist Shri Sudarshan Pattnaik also created sand art of India's G20 logo on Puri beach in Odisha. Various other events, youth activities, cultural performances, and site excursions showcasing the sights and traditions of respective city-venues, are also planned throughout the year-long calendar.

Potential Challenges:

India’s presidency has come at a time when the world is facing many challenges, ranging from Chinese aggression towards Taiwan, rising food and energy crisis due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict, ever-increasing belligerence of North Korea, the global economic slowdown, the emerging threats to trade in the Indo-Pacific region, and the concerns for the environment.[2] With geopolitics high on the G20 agenda this year, it seems like a mammoth task for India to steer it out of rocky waters. Significantly, the “incomparable multidimensional crises” behind the summit were already known, and the member nations were eager to know the Indian viewpoint on each of the issues. India acknowledged the impending consequences of economic decline, growing global poverty, and the delay in achieving the “Sustainable Development Goals.”[3] The G20 was a divided house, with several leaders abdicating their responsibility to find a way to a peaceful solution in Ukraine. Political leaders must address the root cause of the food, fuel, and fertilizer crises, the Ukraine conflict, and related sanctions. In this regard, the stamp of Indian diplomacy by way of PM Narendra Modi’s statement, “Today’s era is not of war,” resonated well, and a finely balanced outcome by the contending groups saved the Bali summit. The challenge that now faces India is to take the lead and move forward in getting both warring sides on the negotiation table to end the conflict.

With the prime focus of the G20 countries being on securing long-term economic growth, the efforts will have to continue towards the guarantee of food, fertilizer and energy security for all, especially the most disadvantaged households. In particular, the full implementation and continuation of the Black Sea Grain Initiative for the export of Ukrainian goods would be a major challenge for India. On the issue of climate change, the G20 reiterated its commitment to achieving global zero greenhouse gas emissions or carbon neutrality by the mid of this century . Some gaps could be seen in the health security cooperation between the national ministries of finance and health for the Pandemic Fund to prevent, prepare for, and respond to future pandemics. These three issues would not, by any standard, be easy tasks for the Indian presidency. The additional tasks of adding the value of digital technology in several sectors, capacity development, and inclusive industrialization, especially in developing countries, would have to be addressed in parallel.


India, at the G20 summit, has very clearly articulated its vision by stating that, “Without peace and security, our future generations will not be able to benefit from economic growth and technological innovation.” [6] As an established global leader now, the promise PM Modi makes for an action-oriented and ambitious presidency will be closely watched, not only by the members of the G20 but also by international institutions like the UN, think tanks, diplomats across the world, and more importantly, by the neighbouring countries of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). India has already taken the lead in some aspects, particularly in technology with digital public goods and its governance, self-reliance or Aatma Nirbhar, vaccine diplomacy, and asserting its firmness on various geopolitical issues. Therefore, the stage is set now for India to take the lead and work towards global peace, rule-based governance and growth for all on the world canvas.

- Meet Gala

Tolani College of Commerce

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