Global economy the focus of G20 foreign ministers

By / China Daily / Updated: 16:15,02-March-2023

An Indian man walks past a poster depicting the logo of a G20 meeting in New Delhi on Monday. KABIR JHANGIANI/GETTY IMAGES

A two-day G20 foreign ministers' meeting in New Delhi will look at reducing risks to the global economy and at other common issues of concern, Indian authorities say.

The country's Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said: "Questions relating to food, energy and fertilizer security, the impact that the (Russia-Ukraine) conflict has on these economic challenges that we face", among others, would receive "due focus".

India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said on Sunday that a major concern of the meeting would be to find ways of "de-risking" the global economy.

"Today the world has learned a lesson that security means not only physical security, not only economic security. It also means health security, food security. So today we have to find a way of de-risking the global economy, the way we would de-risk a sector, the way we would de-risk a business.

"That is a very major debate, and I would say a very major concern of what the G20 would be looking at."

India is also seeking the support and collaboration of all the grouping's members for the success of its G20 presidency, Jaishankar said, adding that the G20 meeting would be "one of the highest-profiled international gatherings" hosted by India.

Jaishnkar is expected to chair two sessions of the meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. The first session will focus on multilateralism and issues related to food and energy. The other will discuss four or five key issues including new and emerging threats such as terrorism and narcotics, and global skill mapping, focusing on global talent pools.

About 40 delegations, including 13 from international organizations, are taking part. A number of foreign ministers from non-G20 countries, including Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, are attending at India's invitation.

China's Foreign Minister Qin Gang will attend, and his attendance is expected to draw a great deal of attention, Indian political observers said. His predecessor, Wang Yi, visited New Delhi in March last year.

Swaran Singh, a professor of diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said it is good that Qin's first trip to India as foreign minister is on the occasion of "a multilateral event when there is no pressure to resolve bilateral issues".

'Good opportunity'

The visit "will give him and his Indian interlocutors a good opportunity to get to know each other in a relaxed atmosphere", he said.

India has said that during its G20 presidency this year it will be the voice of the global south to address the challenges they face.

On Sunday Russia alleged that a G20 finance ministers' meeting in Bengaluru, southern India, ended without a joint communique because of the "confrontational" approach toward Moscow by the "collective West" over the conflict in Ukraine.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors on Saturday was unable to produce a joint declaration because of objections by Russia and China.

The G20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies. Its members account for nearly two-thirds of the world's population, more than 75 percent of global trade, and about 85 percent of the world's GDP.



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