First G-20 TIWG Meeting in Mumbai

Mar 30: The first Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting was inaugurated by the Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad in Mumbai today. Around 100 delegates from G-20 member countries, invitee countries, regional groupings and international organizations have participated in the G20 TIWG inaugural event.

The priorities related to global trade and investment, which the Indian Presidency is pursuing, were taken up for discussion today (March 29, 2023), and will also be done tomorrow (March 30, 2023), in four technical closed-door sessions. The deliberations today focussed on making trade work for growth and prosperity, and the way forward for building resilient Global Value Chains (GVCs). Tomorrow, the TIWG priorities on integrating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade, and building efficient logistics for trade will be discussed across two working sessions. Theme-based experience zones on spices, millet, tea and coffee have been set up at the venue, and an exhibition on textiles is also on display.

Addressing the meeting, MoS (Finance), Dr Karad highlighted the widening gap between developing and developed countries, which further gets exacerbated during pandemics and geopolitical crises. Emphasizing the need for efficient and resilient global supply chains, he expressed that the G-20 member countries must collaborate in designing interventions that will diversify GVCs in critical sectors, such as food, fertilizers, energy and pharmaceuticals. He also mentioned that the women-owned MSMEs are disproportionately affected by credit constraints and various other gender-based barriers. To address and rectify this disproportionate burden of trade cost on MSMEs, Shri Karad proposed collective action by the international trade community.

The Secretary, Department of Commerce and Chair for the TIWG Meeting Shri Sunil Barthwal reiterated that under Indian Presidency, the aim of the G-20 member countries is to achieve shared outcomes for making growth inclusive and resilient, increasing the participation of developing countries and the Global South in GVCs, and building resilient GVCs to withstand future shocks. He added that the Presidency aims to develop inclusive trade policies that support global prosperity, guided by the principle of “One Earth, One Family and One Future”, where cooperation and collaboration amongst nations will be the key drivers for promoting growth and reducing poverty and inequality.

The Presidency aims to carry forward the work done by past G-20 Presidencies to better integrate MSMEs into global trade, considering their primacy in sustaining livelihoods in both developed and developing countries. The means for developing robust logistics infrastructure that could reduce transaction costs both across borders and in the hinterlands will also be deliberated by the G20 delegates.

Under India’s Presidency, the aim is to build a shared understanding of the challenges being faced in accelerating global trade and investment, and how current opportunities can be harnessed for the benefit of humanity following the motto of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, where finding common solutions will be pivotal.

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