Press Releases

India’s G20 success defined by pushing priorities, not war: Amitabh Kant

11 Apr 2023

Quad needs time to develop: Harsh Vardhan Shringla

11 April 2023

Mr Amitabh Kant, India’s G20 Sherpa, says that the success of India’s presidency of G20 will be defined by its push for the global priorities and not by the war. Addressing the 8th National Leadership Conclave (NLC) held by All India Management Association (AIMA), Mr Kant said that India is insisting that G20 is not a political forum and there is the UN for that. “Our view is that G20 should not get politicized,” he said.

Mr Kant said that the G7 countries’ argument is that the war is impacting fuel, food and fertilizer situation and affecting economies of Europe and therefore it becomes an economic issue for G20. However, he said, India’s priorities during its G20 presidency is to build a new action plan for inclusive, resilient and sustainable global growth. He pointed out that the progress achieved in pursuing sustainable development goals (SDGs) over the past 20 years has been considerably undone during the past 3 years because of covid and economic crises. ‘India’s priority is to build a new action plan for accelerated sustainable growth,’ he said.

Mr Kant listed India’s three critical priorities as G20 president - first, the political narrative about India being a democracy with a strong and popular leader; second, the content and priorities for G20 that India drives; and third, how India executes its G20 presidency. He added another priority of India, which is to drive the narrative of a women-led development.

Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla, Chief Coordinator, G20 and Former Foreign Secretary of India spoke about the geopolitical challenges to India’s G20 presidency. ‘Polarization due to Ukraine cuts across G20,’ he said. He pointed out that the UN is deadlocked and it cannot take decisions and G20 is in a position to make a difference if it can achieve consensus. G20 provides the framework for policy decisions and its decisions are easy to implement once those are taken, he explained. ‘We are reasoning with them and trying to develop a consensus,’ he said, adding that a consensus has been achieved except on Ukraine.

Mr Shringla pointed out that the perception that G7 dominate G20 is changing as four developing countries would have its presidency consecutively - Indonesia, India, Brazil and South Africa. However, he conceded that G7 has been around much longer and is better organized and more cohesive. G20 in comparison is more diverse and democratic and its members have their own priorities. The world expects India to sythesize those different priorities, he added.

On the potential of Quad to play a greater role in international affairs, Mr Shringla said that the Quad is still a nascent organization and its leaders met for the first time in person only after Joe Biden became the US President. ‘It is a new organization and needs time to develop before it can consider expansion to include other partners,’ he said. He clarified that this is his personal view.

On the issue of doing business with Russia while avoiding US sanctions, Mr Shringla said that there is an array of complex sanctions with some areas of trade being allowed. However, he advised Indian companies to examine the legality of trade areas carefully to avoid sanctions, as they may have exposure to the western world also.

Mr Kant talked about India’s leadership of the world in climate action. He said that India’s moment of industralization is only beginning and the country would become a major polluter over the next three decades. ‘India must industrialize without carbonizing,’ he said. Arguing that certain sectors of the economy are hard to transform through renewable energy and hydrogen is the future. He said that the countries that decarbonize will attract capital. However, he said that India’s entrepreneurs would need 30-year dollar finance at 1% interest to adopt green technologies. ‘IMF and World Bank need to support climate action,’ he said.

Talking about branding, promoting and marketing India during its G20 presidency, Mr Kant said that India will push the narrative of digital transformation to the rest of the world, especially the global south. He pointed out that there are still 133 countries in the world without digital payments. He also emphasized that unlike other G20 hosts, India is holding events in 59 different cities across all states and union territories and using these events to develop urban infrastructure.

Mr Nikhil Sawhney, Senior Vice President, AIMA moderated the conversation with Mr Amitabh Kant and Mr Yezdi Nagporewala, CEO, KPMG in India delivered the concluding remarks.

Mr Sanjay Kirloskar, Chairman & Managing Director, Kirloskar Brothers Ltd anchored the session with Mr Harsh Vardhan Shringla.

National Leadership Conclave is being live-streamed on AIMA’s social media channels.

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