G20 Sherpas' Focus Is On Sustainable And Inclusive Growth: Amitabh Kant

By PTI July 14, 2023

The immediate priority is to look at "ambitious" issues of development, growth, finance and digital transformation, says India's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant

G20 Sherpas' Focus Is On Sustainable And Inclusive Growth: Amitabh Kant
The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies . DepositPhoto

Top negotiators from the G20 countries on Thursday kick started intense negotiations with a focus on India's priority of ensuring inclusive global growth and addressing the challenges facing the Global South while keeping aside the contentious issues of the Ukraine conflict.

As New Delhi faces the uphill task of building consensus on the outcome documents for the grouping's annual summit in September, India's G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said the immediate priority is to look at "ambitious" issues of development, growth, finance and digital transformation.

The top negotiators from the G20 member nations, invitee countries and delegates from various leading international institutions began their three-day deliberations under the Sherpa track on Thursday in this spiritual city.

Kant said building consensus on inclusion of the African Union into the G20 as proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also be a focus area at the third Sherpas' meeting under India's presidency of the grouping.

The delegates are deliberating and engaging in co-authoring the leaders' declaration to be eventually adopted by the G20 leaders in the New Delhi summit.

"We have not got into that contentious issue at all here. We are looking at ambitious issues of development, growth, finance and progress," Kant said addressing a press conference.

Referring to the Ukraine conflict, the Indian G20 Sherpa at the same time asserted that there is "no elephant in the room".

The Ukraine war is not a creation of the developing and emerging countries and it is not a priority for us, he explained.

"Our priority is developmental issues, inclusive and sustainable growth, progress, more finance from multilateral institutions, sustainable development goals, technological transformation, gender equality," Kant said.

“Our priority is not war, that's not our priority at all. That may be a priority for somebody else," he said. Kant indicated that India is taking up the Ukraine issue bilaterally.

 "There will be a contentious issue and that'll be the issue of geo-politics, which we are not discussing at this stage at all, we are discussing (it) bilaterally," he said.

Almost all key meetings held under India's G20 presidency including those of finance and foreign ministers, could not come out with consensus documents in view of opposition from Russia and China to any text referring to the Ukraine conflict.

"The Prime Minister has said India's G20 presidency has to be inclusive, decisive, ambitious and action-oriented and we are moving ahead keeping that spirit. Our draft is based on several themes -- accelerated, inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth because one-third of the world is in recession," Kant said.

"We have to drive inclusive, resilient and sustainable growth which is accelerated because that is the key to (lifting) people above the poverty line," he said.

"We are looking at global growth, macro-economic policy, role of private sector, unlocking trade for growth, global value chains, building cities for tomorrow, preparing for future of work, fostering global economic cooperation, high level principles on law enforcement related to international cooperation and information-sharing for combating corruption and bribery," he said.

The G20 Sherpa said a framework for crypto assets and tax rules are being looked at under the finance track of the negotiations.

Kant said there has been broad agreement on developmental issues proposed by India."Some minor suggestions keep coming for the draft," he said.

"Our focus will be on delivering sustainable growth, investment, decent jobs, meeting our collective ambitions and ensuring that, as the prime minister has said, that our presidency must be inclusive, decisive, ambitious and action-oriented," he said.

“Our objective throughout will be that India's leaders' declaration is leaders-like and very action-oriented," he noted.

On the overall deliberations, Kant noted that getting 29 sherpas to agree is difficult, adding "We'll have to work very hard on this."

The G20 or Group of 20 is an intergovernmental forum of the world's major developed and developing economies.

The members represent around 85 per cent of the global GDP, over 75 per cent of the global trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.

The grouping comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK, the US and the European Union (EU).

The delegates will also visit historical sites and monuments of Hampi, such as the Vijaya Vithala temple, Yeduru Basvanna complex and the Virupaksha temple, the Rayas, Hampi museum showcasing of grandeur legacy.

They will also experience the local crafts and handicrafts of Chennapatna toys, Kinhalla, Bidri, Ganjifa skillfully crafted and decorated by the local artisans," said an official.