December 1 marked yet another milestone in India’s fast-rising stature on the global stage as the nation took up, for the first time, presidency of the Group of Twenty (G20), comprising 19 countries and the European Union. The G20 members represent 90% of the global GDP, 80% of international global trade, and two-thirds of the world’s population, giving the G20 a significant role in impacting and determining the global economic and financial architectures.
The G20, under the stewardship of Narendra Modi, is going to lead the efforts of the world’s major economies, including the USA, China, the UK, Russia, France, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, and the European Union, among others, to ensure global economic stability and sustainability, while upgrading the global financial architecture to support such stability and sustainability. It is a moment of great pride for India, which over the ages, has made remarkable contributions to the world’s civilizations, culture, heritage, spirituality and peace.
The G20 presidency comes at a time when India has become the fifth-largest economy in the world and also the fastest-growing large economy. Economists predict that the coming decade (2022-2032) belongs to India, and are calling it “India’s decade of outperformance”. They predict India will become the third-largest economy in the world within the next five years.
India has not only become the global hope for economic growth, but is also acknowledged as a force for global good. Recently India came to the rescue of the world hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, by exporting Made-in-India vaccines to more than 100 countries under Vaccine Maitri, at a time when many developed countries were hoarding vaccine stocks. Even on matters of global war and peace, major powers today see India as a force for good and seek its influence in resolving contentious matters.
Having assumed the presidency for the G20 Summit, India is planning to host over 200 meetings across the country over the next 12 months. The Union Government has called for a preparatory meeting on December 5, for which an invitation has been extended to the presidents of all political parties. The noble idea behind the meeting is to put politics aside and solicit suggestions from all parties to discuss and finalise strategies for the G20 nations summit to be held in September 2023.
It is reported that Telangana CM Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao is unwilling to take part in the meeting of the presidents of all political parties in the national capital on December 5. Is it prudent for the newest State of India to abstain from taking advantage of India’s G20 Presidency role? Shouldn’t political leaders put their egos aside and act only in the interests of the people of Telangana on such occasions? Even West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Bannerjee, who is a vehement opponent of Narendra Modi politically, has announced she would be attending this meeting as the president of the Trinamool Congress Party. I wish our Chief Minister, who is invited in his capacity as the president of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti, takes inspiration from her example and attends the meeting.
Every State government, through the Government of India, can use this historic opportunity for its development. Besides the Finance Track (Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors) and the Sherpa Track (personal emissaries of leaders), there are 10 Engagement Groups which bring together civil societies, parliamentarians, think tanks, women, etc. And most important of all for every state government is B20 – the Business 20, which is the official G20 dialogue forum, where business heads from G20 members participate – just like at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
For example, the Telangana government claims that 24 per cent of total investments into the state come from existing companies from the USA, Japan, Korea, China, Taiwan, and Europe. IT and Industries Minister KT Rama Rao, in October 2021, made a presentation to the representatives of the European Business Group and requested them to consider Hyderabad for their business interests. Isn’t the G20 a platform to reach out and impress new investors from the EU and other member countries?
The G20 meetings also provide a unique opportunity for state governments. The state governments can combine forces with the central government and make pitches for investments in their states from B20 leaders. They can also do the same with the political leadership of G20 member states. For example, Telangana, which has a huge NRI community in Saudi Arabia, had requested that country to open a Consulate in Hyderabad. G20 provides an excellent opportunity for pushing such requests through the offices of the Central government to the political leadership of Saudi Arabia.
It is pertinent to mention that a weaver from Telangana’s Sircilla town, Yedli Hariprasad, inspired by the news of India’s presidency of G20, sent a self-woven logo of G20 to the PM. To celebrate the country’s great achievement, a small weaver took pains to weave and send the logo to the head of the government. Can our CM take a leaf out of Hariprasad garu’s book and live up to the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” or “One Earth One Family One Future”n — the theme of India’s G20 Presidency?
(The author is BJP TS spokesperson)