G20 summit: Trade, digital economy on agenda; Trump says India’s tariff hike unacceptable

Xi Trump Modi

The G20 global summit being held in Osaka in Japan where leaders from 19 countries and the European Union will deliberate on three international issues: free and fair trade, the digital economy, and tackling environmental problems with innovation including demographics at a time of unsettling friction.

The aim of G20 is to establish economic fundamentals for realizing sustainable and inclusive growth of the global economy so as to respond to the global financial crisis.

In a Op-ed, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe G20 message is that Japan aims to “realize and promote a free and open, inclusive and sustainable, human-centered future society” and recognizes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as being at the core of the development agenda and other global issues.

Osaka Summit will focus on global economy, trade and investment, innovation, environment and energy, employment, women’s empowerment, development, and health.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday arrived in Japan for the two-day G20 Summit in Osaka and said that issues such as women empowerment, artificial intelligence and common efforts to address challenges like terrorism will be high on his agenda.

But India is tackling with unemployment as the National Sample Survey Office’s (NSSO) job survey for 2017-18 had shown a spike in the unemployment rate to over 6 per cent, a 45-year high, but the report was not released by the government, which termed it as a draft report.
The G-20 is a forum for economic cooperation where leaders deliberate to resolve the crisis during global instability.

Modi meets Japanese PM

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said both the leaders discussed Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed railway as well as the convention centre in Varanasi. Both leaders held review of progress in this regard .
PM Modi and Japan PM would meet again tomorrow for a trilateral meeting between Japan, India & US, there was a brief discussion on the Indo-Pacific initiative that all three countries are separately pursuing and discussing together.

PM Abe referred specifically to PM Modi’s initiative in earlier G20 meetings on the issue of fugitive economic offenders and he said that G20 should deal with this problem as part of its anti-corruption measures

PM Modi will also participate in the Russia-India-China (RIC) and the Japan-America-India (JAI) trilaterals, as well as in the meeting of BRICS leaders.

Ahead of U.S. President meeting with Indian PM, Donald Trump called on Narendra Modi to withdraw recently imposed tariffs, saying “this is unacceptable.”
USA President Donald Trump said, “I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the tariffs must be withdrawn!”

No agenda has been announced for the Modi-Trump meeting but the two leaders can be expected to discuss trade, Russia arms deal which has emerged as the key irritant between the two sides that have otherwise seen growing convergence on a host of issues, including strategic ties with an emphasis on a free and open Indo-Pacific, defence cooperation and counter-terrorism.

The Prime Minister’s Japan trip comes a day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was in Delhi, met him and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar Pompeo admitted to Washington having a divergence of view with New Delhi on issues such as trade, but downplayed it by saying that “great friends are bound to have differences”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the two-day Osaka summit that begins on Friday will also be an important stepping stone for India towards hosting the G20 summit in 2022 “when we usher in a New India in the 75th anniversary year of our Independence”.
“The summit will provide an important opportunity to reiterate and reinforce our strong support to reformed multilateralism, which is crucial for preserving rule-based international order in today’s fast-changing world,” Modi said.

PM Modi released a statement stating that he looks forward to discuss the major challenges and opportunities faced by the world today with other nations. “Women Empowerment, issues related to digitalization and artificial intelligence, and progress in achieving SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and in our common efforts to address major global challenges such as terrorism and climate change form the rich agenda of the Summit,” he said.

“The Summit will provide an important opportunity to reiterate and reinforce our strong support to reformed multilateralism, which is crucial for preserving rule-based international order in today’s fast changing world. The Summit will also be a platform for sharing India’s strong developmental experience of the last five years, which provided the basis for a resounding mandate by the people of India to the Government to continue on the path to progress and stability,” added PM Modi.

Arti Bali

Sr Journalist

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