Under the Indian Presidency, the First G20 finance and central bank deputies meeting was held in Bengaluru, Karnataka, during December 13-14, 2022, under the co-chairship of secretary, economic affairs Ajay Seth and deputy governor, Reserve Bank of India, Dr. Michael Patra.
The meeting saw an enthusiastic gathering of over 160 foreign delegates including deputies from G20 member countries, invitee countries, and International Organisations. This marks the beginning of the G20 Finance Track under the Indian Presidency.
Over the course of two days, seven discussion sessions and two side events were organised. The delegates were also given a glimpse of the traditional as well as the contemporary culture of Karnataka through a vivid display of different art forms. The agenda of this meeting was crafted keeping in view the vision given by prime minister Narendra Modi and Indian Presidency’s G20 theme.
The meeting was conducted with the aim of seeking the views of G20 members on India’s G20 Finance Track priorities for 2023 across various work streams. A side event on ‘Strengthening MDBs to Address Shared Global Challenges of the 21st century’ was held on the sidelines of the deputies meeting. This event was moderated by Suman Bery, VC NITI, focused on discussing how MDBs can help countries in addressing trans-boundary challenges. US Finance Deputy, Andy Baukol and Saudi Arabia’s Finance Deputy, Ryadh Alkharief alongwith Director-General of ADB, Tomoyuki Kimura, and Prof. Devesh Kapur of John Hopkins University participated as panellists and shared their views on the topic. Another side event on ‘Role of Central Banks in Managing Climate Risk and in Green Financing’ was also held.
Physical presence of most G20 delegations, invitees and international organisations in Bengaluru demonstrates the global commitment to supporting India’s G20 Presidency, particularly amidst the challenging global economic environment.
Reflecting the theme of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” and “One Earth, One Family, One Future”, the discussions focused on issues relating to the global economy and risks, strengthening Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), managing global debt vulnerabilities, financing climate action and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities of tomorrow.
During the first session on the global economy and Framework Working Group priorities, G20 members discussed global economic challenges, including global inflation, food and energy insecurity and macroeconomic implications of climate change.
In the session on International Financial Architecture, delegates deliberated on various issues, including strengthening Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and exchanged views on work to be undertaken in 2023 on key topics including global debt distress, capital flows and global financial safety net.
In the infrastructure session, discussions took place on India’s priorities for the Infrastructure Working Group 2023 including “Financing Cities of Tomorrow: Inclusive, Resilient and Sustainable”.
On Sustainable Finance issues, members exchanged views on financing for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including climate action to facilitate the development of a sustainable and resilient global economy.
Substantive discussions were held during the session on International Taxation on the priority areas for 2023, including monitoring the progress of the Two-Pillar Tax Package being developed under the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework, enhancing tax transparency and multilateral capacity building on taxation.
In the session on Global Health, the G20 Deputies discussed strengthening of the coordination arrangement between Finance and Health Ministries for Pandemic Prevention Preparedness and Response (PPR), including expanding the voice of Low-Income Countries by inviting key Regional Organizations to the discussions.
Financial Sector & Financial Inclusion issues were taken up in the last session of the meeting. The discussions focused on financial sector developments and approaches to advancing Financial Inclusion through a people-centric vision. Delegates also exchanged views on priorities for appropriate financial regulations and ensuring financial stability through a common approach.
Overall, the meeting saw a broad support on the proposed priorities of India’s G20 Finance Track agenda for 2023. Further development of agenda items during the course of the Indian G20 Presidency will be enriched with the views presented by the Finance and Central Bank Deputies representing a wide range of perspectives.
These discussions will pave the way for the First G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting which will be held from February 23-25, 2023 in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
The first Development Working Group meeting held in Mumbai from December 13-16, 2022, Indian G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant during media briefing outlined India’s DWG G20 priorities and approach. Since 2010, the Development Working Group has been acting as a custodian of the development agenda in the G20. After the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Goals in 2015, DWG has steered the alignment of the development agenda of the G20 with the SDGs. Given the nature of its work, the DWG has dealt with several different issues over the last decade depending on the priorities of the Presidency.
Amitabh Kant emphasized that the challenges the world faces today can only be solved by working together. Our priorities reflect not only the aspirations of G20 Members, but also of the Global South. India is pursuing an inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented approach. Kant outlined India’s DWG priorities as (i) Green Development including climate action and financing, just energy transitions and LiFE (LifeStyle for Environment); (ii) Accelerating implementation of SDGs; and (iii) Digital Public Goods/Data for Development. He added that DWG conversations would also include debt distress, reformed multilateralism and women-led development, and that India will highlight the importance of inclusive growth and collective action to achieve it.
Kant recalled that a new work stream on Disaster Risk Reduction has been established under India’s Presidency to encourage collective work, multi-disciplinary research and exchange of best practices on disaster risk reduction. In addition, a new Startup20 Engagement Group has also been initiated under India’s G20 Presidency, recognizing the role of Startups in driving innovation that responds to a rapidly changing global scenario.
The three-day meeting draw focus on G20 collective actions for accelerating progress on the SDGs, support to developing countries in dealing with immediate concerns relating to food and energy security and debt distress, and a 2023 G20 New Delhi Update on SDGs. Cultural programs showcasing Maharashtra’s rich cultural heritage have been arranged for the G20 delegates with the help of the state government.
(The author is a regular columnist)