G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

[op-ed snap] India must build the capacity to make its G20 presidency in the future a successIOCRop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: International relations| Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Basic knowledge of India’s presidency at G20 in 2022.

Mains level: The news-card analyses the issues and challenges that India might face while hosting G20 summit in 2022, in a brief manner.


  • In 2022, India will be hosting the G20 or Group of 20 nations, the world’s most influential economic multilateral forum.


  • G20 is the agenda-setting forum that develops and guides rules of global economic governance.
  • The G20 leaders-level dialogue came into being during the western financial crisis of 2008, when the large developing economies including India and China, helped fund the G8 countries out of the crisis.

G20 is unique

  • Here, developing countries can display their political, economic and intellectual leadership on a par with the most powerful countries.
  • The G20’s rotating presidency ensures that no one country dominates the agenda.
  • Instead, the G20 host sets an annual agenda, wielding vast direct and indirect influence on nations’ economies.

Is India ready for G20 leadership?

  • At some levels, India is ready.
  • Indian business and industry is becoming a noteworthy competitor globally.
  • The country’s domestic economy is starting to pick up, thanks to structural economic reforms.
  • The central government is economically stronger, and the states are starting to learn about economic independence, making them more aligned with their global counterparts.

Issues and Challenges

  • India need to have a clear global financial agenda.
  • The country should also have the capacity to lead the G20 year intellectually, financially, managerially and administratively.
  • Geopolitically, India is more internationally engaged but less so geoeconomically.
  • Its narrow focus is on the World Bank, IMF, WTO and foreign investment issues.
  • But India has much to contribute on issues like reconfiguration of global financial regulations, design of a new framework for trade in services and the digital economy and establishing better cross-border standards for transparency in financial flows.
  • To make its G20 year a success, India has to address organisational challenges, where the country has an infrastructure, management and intellectual gap.

Organisational challenges

  1. A G20 presidency brings together several global leaders, their attending delegations, and independent experts.
  • Unlike the Olympics and more like Davos, this effort is focused on a small but powerful group which expects good airports, accommodation, conference facilities, and communications infrastructure all year round.

2. The president of the G20 is tasked with leading and managing the global economic agenda for the year.

  • This is typically undertaken by the finance and foreign ministry and a special appointee as G20 sherpa, which together act as the secretariat to the G20 presidency.
  • In India, the ministries have fine officers with this knowledge, but they are overworked and limited by their short tenures.

Global economic governance is no single ministry’s mandate.

  • For example, the ministries of commerce, energy, agriculture have deep stakes in the emerging global economic architecture.
  • The RBI and SEBI play a crucial role in contributing to the formulation of global financial regulations. They all have to work as one.

3. The logistical exercise is monumental, and unprecedented for India.

  • While India has organised annual conferences like Vibrant Gujarat, the G20’s all-year requirements are more intense and sophisticated.
  • It needs an energetic secretariat to organise over 150 high-level ministerial, sub-ministerial and sub-forum meetings through the year.
  • At least 50 task forces lead scores of meetings including those by sub-forums for think tanks and business.
  • Then there is content management, negotiation and feedback processes and developing and executing the year-long agenda.
  • India’s closest experience was in 2016 when as chair of the five BRICS countries, the government led over 100 meetings but with uneven success in the presidency year.

4. Intellectually, India is constrained on capacity.

  • There is limited expertise within think tanks or academia on this subject.
  • It requires deep inter-disciplinary research on the international monetary system, global financial architecture, global trading system, and global climate, energy and sustainability issues.
  • This restricts India to being a passive rule-taker, not rule-maker or designer of global economic rules.
  • Consequential economic decisions are then driven by the West, and increasingly by China — neither of which are suitable for an India that should be a leading thinker of the new global economic era.

Way Forward

  • Hosting a successful G20 presidency in 2022 is a welcome challenge and the preparations must begin now.
  • Like other countries, the government will have to work together with its think tanks, businesses and civil society to develop a working mechanism and an agenda for 2022.
  • India is a growing, emerging economy but leads no global economic forums.
  • It is said that “those who hold the pen, write the rules”.
  • The time has come for India to both hold the pen and write the rules for a more equitable global economics and governance.
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

[op-ed snap] The new trilateralismop-ed snap


Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional & global groupings & agreements involving India &/or affecting India’s interests

From the UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: JAI trilateral

Mains level: Shredding “hesitations of history” in Indian diplomacy and using new trilateralism for India’s interests


G20 summit and new engagements

  1. That PM Modi could sit down with the leaders of the US and Japan on the margins of the G-20 Summit in Buenos Aires over the weekend and, soon after, parley with the presidents of China and Russia, has generated some surprise and much appreciation of India’s new international standing that the two trilateral summits underlined
  2. This is the first time that the trilateral engagement between India, Japan and the United States has been elevated to the highest political level
  3. PM Modi came up with a new acronym, “JAI”, for the trilateral partnership
  4. His meeting with President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin has taken place after a gap of nearly 12 years

An important marker for Indian diplomacy

  1. Given the history of Indian foreign policy and its deep suspicion of the West, there is no question that the trilateral summit with President Donald Trump and the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is an important marker in the evolution of India’s foreign policy
  2. Although India’s bilateral relations with the US and Japan and other Western countries have grown significantly in the 21st century and its officials have engaged with those from Washington, Tokyo and Canberra in the trilateral and quadrilateral format, Delhi has been hesitant to participate in these meetings at the summit level
  3. The domestic concern about abandoning “non-alignment” was one reason
  4. The fear of annoying India’s friends in the East — in Beijing and Moscow — has been cited as the other
  5. Delhi’s main weakness has been the inability to fully translate this extraordinary political leverage into substantive economic and military gains

Way forward for India

  1. Modi’s renewed trilateral summitry with Putin and Xi proves India does not have to choose between one camp or the other
  2. China’s main focus at the G-20 summit was on cutting a deal with Trump on trade issues
  3. All major powers are engaging each other and Delhi must do the same without any inhibitions
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G20 summit: India presents 9-point agenda on fugitive economic offendersIOCR


Mains Paper 2: IR | Important International institutions, agencies & fora, their structure, mandate.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: G-20

Mains level: International Cooperation to counter Fugitive Economic Offenders


  • Nineteen leaders of the world’s biggest economies and a representative of the European Union are set to meet on Friday and Saturday in Buenos Aries, Argentina as part of the Group of 20 summit.

9 Point Agenda

  1. India has presented a nine-point agenda to G20 member nations calling for strong and active cooperation among them to comprehensively deal with fugitive economic offenders.
  2. The agenda was presented by PM Modi in the second session of the G20 Summit on international trade, international financial and tax systems.
  3. The agenda rules for cooperation in legal processes such as effective freezing of the proceeds of crime, early return of the offenders and efficient repatriation of the proceeds of crime should be enhanced and streamlined.
  4. The G-20 forum should consider initiating work on locating properties of economic offenders who have a tax debt in the country of their residence for its recovery.

Call for Joint efforts

  1. India also called for joint efforts by G-20 countries to form a mechanism that denies entry and safe havens to fugitive economic offenders.
  2. Principles of United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNOTC), especially related to ‘International Cooperation’ should be fully and effectively implemented asked India at the summit.

Greater role for FATF

  1. India suggested the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) should be called upon to assign priority and focus to establishing international cooperation that leads to timely and comprehensive exchange of information between the competent authorities and financial intelligence units.
  2. FATF should be tasked to formulate a standard definition of fugitive economic offenders.
  3. FATF should also develop a set of commonly agreed and standardized procedures related to identification, extradition and judicial proceedings for dealing with fugitive economic offenders.



  1. G-20 is made up of 19 countries and the EU.
  2. The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  3. The other invited members are Chile, Netherlands, Spain and representatives of regional groups of Jamaica, Rwanda, Singapore and Senegal.
  4. G-20 members represent 75% of international trade, half of foreign direct investment flows, half of foreign flows and 80% of global production.
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

[pib] India to participate in G-20, Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting in ArgentinaIOCRPIBPrelims OnlyPriority 1


Mains Paper 2: IR | Important International institutions, agencies & fora, their structure, mandate.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: G-20

Mains level: Decline of WTO hegemony in global trade and prospects for India.


G-20 Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting

  • Union Minister of Commerce & Industry will participate in the G-20, Trade and Investment Ministerial Meeting, being held in Mar del Plata in Argentina.

Importance of the meet

  1. The meeting will provide an opportunity for a dialogue on current developments in international trade and its implications for the global economy.
  2. Trade and investment must benefit all and countries must jointly address both the opportunities and challenges of globalization, innovation and technological advancements.
  3. India looks forward to work along with other countries to reform WTO and ensure that it continues to be an engine for global trade.
  4. Further, the key issues that will be discussed include global value chains, the new industrial revolution and the international trade outlook.
  5. The multilateral trading system is facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of protectionist measures by some countries, which is not compatible with the WTO.



  1. G-20 is made up of 19 countries and the EU.
  2. The countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  3. The other invited members are Chile, Netherlands, Spain and representatives of regional groups of Jamaica, Rwanda, Singapore and Senegal.
  4. G-20 members represent 75% of international trade, half of foreign direct investment flows, half of foreign flows and 80% of global production.
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G20 nations for global forum to address excess steel capacity

  1. What? Major steel producers China, India and Japan along with other G20 nations have called for increased sharing of information as well as more cooperation
  2. How? By forming a global forum to address the issue of excess steel capacity
  3. Context: The problem caused in international markets due to excess steel capacity amidst softening of prices
  4. It eroded sales and profits of firms across countries, especially at a time when the global economy recovery is weak
  5. Issues: Excess capacity in steel and other industries is a global issue which requires collective responses
  6. Subsidies and other types of support from Govt or Govt-sponsored institutions can cause market distortions and contribute to global excess capacity and therefore require attention
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G20 on employment and skills- II

  1. Would further develop the G20 employment plans in 2017 to address these commitments and monitor progress in a systemic and transparent manner in achieving the G20 goals, especially on youth employment and female labour participation
  2. Recognised that strengthened labour market institutions and policies can support productivity and promote decent work, and therefore higher, sustainable wage growth, in particular for the low-income workers
  3. Recognised the importance of addressing opportunities and challenges brought into the labour market through labour migration as well-managed migration can bring potential benefits to economies and societies
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G20 on employment and skills- I

  1. Generating quality employment is indispensable for sustainable development and is at the center of the G20’s domestic and global agenda
  2. Would work to ensure the benefits from economic growth, globalisation and technological innovation are widely shared, creating more and better jobs, reducing inequalities and promoting inclusive labour force participation
  3. Endorsed the strategies, action plans and initiatives developed by G20 labour and employment ministers to enhance the growth and development agenda
  4. How? By taking effective actions to address changes in skill needs, support entrepreneurship and employability, foster decent work, ensure safer workplaces including within global supply chains and strengthen social protection systems
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G-20 pledge to roll back protectionist measures by 2018-end- III

  1. Endorsed the strategy for global trade growth, under which the G20 will lead by example to lower trade costs, harness trade and investment policy coherence, boost trade in services, enhance trade finance, promote e-commerce development, and address trade and development
  2. Would support policies that encourage firms of all sizes, in particular women and youth entrepreneurs, women-led firms and SMEs, to take full advantage of global value chains
  3. Would continue to prioritise its work on food security, nutrition, sustainable agricultural growth and rural development as a significant contribution to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
  4. Reaffirmed its commitment to promoting investment with focus on infrastructure in terms of both quantity and quality
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G-20 pledge to roll back protectionist measures by 2018-end- II

  1. Reiterated advancing negotiations on remaining DDA (Doha Development Agenda) issues as a matter of priority
  2. It would include all three pillars of agriculture — market access, domestic support and export competition, non-agricultural market access and services, among others
  3. Highlighted the important role that bilateral and regional trade agreements can play in liberalising trade and development of trade rules
  4. Recognised the need to ensure they are consistent with WTO rules
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G-20 pledge to roll back protectionist measures by 2018-end- I

  1. G20: Would ensure rule-based and transparent multilateral trading system with WTO for global growth
  2. Reaffirmed to continue support the work of WTO, UNCTAD and OECD in monitoring protectionism
  3. Emphasised that the benefits of trade and open markets must be communicated to the wider public more effectively and accompanied by appropriate domestic policies to ensure that benefits are widely distributed
  4. Committed to ratify the Trade Facilitation Agreement by the end of 2016 and call on other WTO members to do the same
  5. Affirmed determination to ensure a rule-based, transparent, non-discriminatory, open and inclusive multilateral trading system, with WTO playing the central role in today’s global trade
  6. TFA: Aimed at promoting global trade through easing Customs procedures
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

Modi calls for IMF quota reforms

  1. Modi at G20: The long delayed 15th General Review of Quotas of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) must be completed by the multilateral lender’s 2017 Annual Meetings
  2. Changes: The 15th review in quota shares is expected to result in raising the clout of the emerging and developing countries in the decision making architecture of the IMF
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

Modi flags off anti-graft campaign as part of global economic reforms at G-20

  1. It would include a greater say for the emerging countries in the international financial architecture
  2. Mr. Modi: Proposed elimination of safe havens for economic offenders across the globe
  3. How? Track down and unconditionally extradite money launderers and tax offenders
  4. He also targeted the foreign banks for their excessive secrecy, which eventually ended up shielding the corrupt
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

G20 to say look beyond ultra-easy policy for growth

  1. News: Recently released communique from G20, finance ministers and central bankers flagged a series of risks to world growth
  2. Series of Risks: volatile capital flows, a sharp fall in commodity prices and the potential shock of a British exit from the EU
  3. G20’s opinion: Need to look beyond ultra-low interest rates and printing money to shake the global economy out of its torpor, while renewing their focus on structural reform to spark activity
  4. Relevance: Faltering growth and market turbulence have exacerbated policy frictions between major economies in recent months
  5. Concerns: expressed over escalating geopolitical tensions and Europe’s refugee crisis
  6. Way ahead: G20 ministers have agreed to use all policy tools – monetary, fiscal and structural – individually and collectively to reach the group’s economic goals
G20 : Economic Cooperation ahead

As economy slows, China urges G20 to focus on domestic reforms

India has initiated consultations on the priorities identified by China for the G20 summit in September 2016.

  1. G20 leaders had met at Antalya last month and resolved to persist with collective action
  2. China, the host for 2016 G20 meet and holder of the rotating presidency.
  3. China urged member countries to pursue structural reforms to spur global economic growth even as the Asian giant’s economy slows.
  4. India’s consultation include constructing a new structural reform index to assess progress by member nations on their target.
  5. To add 2 per cent growth to the global economy by 2018 through domestic reforms.

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