Born out of the financial meltdown of 2008, the Group of 20 has been working together to keep the world stable and safe. It came together to coordinate fiscal action to contain and recover from the financial crisis that shook world economies.
For the nearly 15 years since then, G20 has been meeting frequently to include an expanding range of global challenges and collaborate on various issues facing the world.
As India takes presidency of the G20, the world has to deal with multiple crises on various fronts. Still staggering from a debilitating pandemic, the world is witnessing war in Ukraine and continuing strife in Syria.
Deep shifts in supply chain have impacted manufacturing across the world. An energy crisis has unfolded in Europe while food shortages threaten developing countries.
The fourth industrial revolution has accelerated convenience and comfort for citizens and consumers. The rise of ecommerce, healthtech, fintech and connected devices has reduced the digital divide and brought hundreds of millions into the economic mainstream. However, the weaponization of cyberspace has also unleashed security breaches and a race for tech supremacy among countries.
India has a lot at stake in this era. It has broken the shackles of socialism and a command economy to become a tech-driven entrepreneurial economy. Political stability and sustained economic growth have made India an island of hope in a sea of global turbulence.
India can’t afford to lose this growth and development momentum if global crises fester. While some parts of the developed world argue for deglobalization, India is pushing ahead with a strategy of self-reliance led global growth. Not only is India investing in its own capabilities, it is also producing an unprecedented range of products and services for the world. From financial payment solutions like UPI to domestically produced vaccines to defence equipment to smart electronics, India has steadily enhanced its position in the global markets.
In its role as G20 president, it would further build on multidirectional capital and technology flows. The G20 has to recognize that inclusive growth will be made possible when each country grows equitably and responsibly. The rules for the next phase of growth and globalization will be co-written by emerging markets.
Here India can present itself as a beacon to the G20 and the developing world. India has shared its achievements with other emerging markets. Its offer to create a new paradigm for open IPR for vaccines and essential medicines is a great example of this approach.
Preparing the professionals for a new set of talents is as important as changing consumer behavior for sustainable consumption. Skilling and employability are critical for developing economies which see livelihood generation as a priority. Climate change imperatives mean that G20 has to focus on outcomes and action.
Collaboration between countries should devolve at several levels. The Business 20 (B20) coordination should strive for a new approach to growth. From profits as a primary strategy, there must be better traction for business as a force for good. A coordinated effort between policymakers and entrepreneurs can accelerate economic development.
India can boast of several initiatives where public private partnership is being driven by trust. The opening up of sectors like space and defence for private participation is creating a new template for industrialization. Business for the sake of society will ensure social inclusion and sustainable corporate practices.
There is much to be done at the multilateral level. The B20 presidency of India can change the direction of global cooperation towards an inclusive world driven by care and collaboration.
The article is contributed by Pranjal Sharma, a geo-economic analyst and author based in New Delhi, India. This article represents the views of the author and not of CII.