India’s G20 Presidency playing pivotal role in bolstering trade relations

Several favourable factors facilitate India's pursuit of improved trade outcomes with G20 members, including expediting negotiations for free trade agreements

September 4, 2023

India is encouraged to establish itself as a global norm-setter in the digital economy

India has been advised to consider evolving the G20 into an economic bloc

The country has also enhanced ease of doing business, modernised infrastructure, and cultivated a skilled workforce

The share of G20 nations in India's merchandise exports in 2022 stood at 64%, while imports accounted for 52.4%

India’s G20 Presidency is pivotal in bolstering the country’s trade relationships with member nations and creating an opportunity to attract investments, particularly in sectors like infrastructure.

Several favourable factors facilitate India’s pursuit of improved trade outcomes with G20 members, including expediting negotiations for free trade agreements, enhancing the ease of doing business, modernising infrastructure, cultivating a skilled workforce, and tapping into its burgeoning population with rising incomes.

Trade experts advise the Indian government to expedite ongoing free trade agreement negotiations with countries like the UK and EU to improve market access and attract investment. However, they caution against conflating trade platforms with climate aspirations, as such a conflation could impede progress in both trade and climate discussions.

Furthermore, India is encouraged to establish itself as a global norm-setter in the digital economy, encompassing data protection, international contracting, digital assets, and international taxation. This endeavour would boost India’s presence in the global services exports market.

Given its substantial infrastructure improvements, favourable business environment, skilled labour force, and burgeoning middle-class consumer base, India is increasingly attractive for investment and the importation of high-quality goods, according to various experts.

India’s active role in hosting multiple G20 events across different cities has showcased the country globally. India should consider evolving the G20 into an economic bloc, potentially reducing customs duties among member countries to foster stronger economic ties.

Presiding over this multilateral forum provides India with a unique platform to showcase its strengths and achievements, thus enhancing its appeal to investors and deepening trade ties with these major economies.

Regarding trade statistics, India ranks ninth among G20 members in total trade (US$ 1,662 billion) in goods and services in 2022. The top three spots are held by the EU (US$ 17,151 billion), China (US$ 7,183 billion), and the USA (US$ 6,933 billion).

The share of G20 nations in India’s merchandise exports in 2022 stood at 64%, while imports accounted for 52.4%.

Source: Economic Times

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