BENGALURU: Highlighting the unsustainable debt levels affecting the viability of many countries and the erosion of trust in international financial institutions, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday urged the leading economies and monetary systems of the world to bring back stability, confidence and growth to the global economy.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the first meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors under India’s G20 Presidency via video message on Friday.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister underlined that this is the first Minister-level dialogue under India’s G20 Presidency and conveyed his best wishes for a productive meeting.
Taking note of the challenges faced by the world in the present day, PM Modi said that the participants of today’s meeting are representing the leadership of global finance and economy at a time when the world is facing serious economic difficulties.
The Prime Minister gave examples of the Covid pandemic and its after-effects on the global economy, rising geo-political tensions, disruptions in global supply chains, rising prices, food and energy security, unsustainable debt levels affecting the viability of many countries and the erosion of trust in international financial institutions due to their inability to reform quickly.
PM Modi pointed out that it is now up to the custodians of the leading economies and monetary systems of the world to bring back stability, confidence and growth to the global economy.
Casting the spotlight on the vibrancy of the Indian economy, the Prime Minister highlighted the optimism of the Indian consumers and producers about the future of India’s economy and hoped that the member participants would draw inspiration while transmitting the same positive spirit to the global level.
The Prime Minister urged the members to focus their discussions on the most vulnerable citizens of the world and stressed that global economic leadership can win back the confidence of the world only by creating an inclusive agenda.
“The theme of our G20 Presidency promotes this inclusive vision – One Earth, One Family, One Future,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister observed that progress on Sustainable Development Goals seems to be slowing down even though the world population has crossed 8 billion. He emphasized the need to strengthen Multilateral Development Banks for meeting global challenges like climate change and high debt levels.
Highlighting the growing dominance of technology in the world of finance, PM Modi recalled how digital payments enabled contactless and seamless transactions during the pandemic.
He urged the member participants to explore and harness the power of technology while developing standards to regulate its possible risk of destabilisation and misuse in digital finance.
He noted that India has created a highly secure, highly trusted, and highly efficient public digital infrastructure in its digital payments ecosystem over the past few years.
“Our digital payments ecosystem has been developed as a free public good,” the Prime Minister remarked as he underlined that it has radically transformed governance, financial inclusion, and ease of living in the country.
Noting that the meeting is taking place in Bengaluru, the technology capital of India, PM Modi said that participants can get first-hand experience of how Indian consumers have embraced digital payments. He also informed about the new system created during India’s G-20 Presidency that allows G20 guests to use India’s path-breaking digital payments platform, UPI.
“Examples like UPI can be templates for many other countries too. We would be happy to share our experience with the world and the G20 can be a vehicle for this”, added the Prime Minister.
With the aim to foster global economic cooperation, the first G20 Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting is being held in Bengaluru on Friday.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Shaktikanta Das jointly chaired the meeting.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Friday opened the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting by offering her heartfelt condolences to Turkish colleagues, urging the congregation to observe a minute of silence for the loss.
In her address, the Finance minister said the G20 in 2023 will focus on a holistic approach to the global challenges based on the presidency theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam — One Earth One Family One Future’.
She said the G20 could transform lives around the globe by leveraging strengths while respecting needs and circumstances.
“It can be a global prime mover as an incubator of ideas, a force for the collective good and a forum to listen to the voice of the Global South. Supporting the countries most in need and reflecting the concerns and aspirations of developing countries will be our central to our efforts,” Sitharaman said.
“We will work closely with the Troika, the G20 membership and international organisations to carry forward the exemplary G20 presidencies before us. We will begin this special pre-recorded address to all of you by our honourable Prime Minister Narendra Modi-ji,” the minister added.
Nirmala Sitharaman sought views of the ministers and governors on how multilateral development banks can be strengthened to address shared global challenges of the 21st century, while maintaining a focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and poverty eradication.
The finance minister highlighted the rising debt vulnerabilities in many vulnerable countries and sought views of the G20 members on multilateral coordination stating that managing global debt vulnerabilities would be crucial for the world economy. Sitharaman also spoke about India’s G20 priority of financing cities of tomorrow and sought to explore the G20 FMCBG views on domestic policy experiences with respect to financing inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities of tomorrow.
During her speech, the finance minister also invited views of the G20 FMCBG on policy initiatives, that can be instrumental in enabling financing for SDGs and ways for mobilisation of timely and adequate resources for climate finance.
The finance minister also met Bruno Le Maire, French minister of economy, finance and industrial and digital sovereignty on the sidelines of the first G20 FMCBG under the G20 India Presidency, in Bengaluru, on Friday.
During their meeting, Bruno Le Maire thanked FM Sitharaman for the recently concluded Tata-Airbus landmark deal. The two also leaders agreed to extend the growing economic cooperation between the two countries to new areas like renewable energy, infrastructure and green cities. The discussion between the two leaders also featured the ongoing problems due to debt vulnerabilities of several nations.
Speaking at the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting, the French minister said, “We will oppose any step back from the leaders in Bali (G20) on this question of war on Ukraine. We fully trust India through its strong communique and we are quite happy to see India in the driving seat today.”
The minister said that France shares the view of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “This must not be an era of war. Beyond human destructions, what is at stake at war in Ukraine are our key principles of sovereignty and international order,” he added.
The minister also said what was at stake is the strength of growth and prosperity for the long term.
“One thing must be sure there can’t be sustainable and strong economic development in the time of war. In that sense, the war in Ukraine is not a regional conflict but affecting globally.
It is not only affecting Ukraine and European countries but all countries of the world,” he said.
During the G20 meeting, the minister said, “European countries affirmed our unity and total determination to adopt new sanctions against Russia. Our sanctions are strong and efficient. They are hitting and reducing all revenues of Russia. They are freezing USD 58 billion of Russian assets.”
On the sidelines of the G20 meeting, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das met Jerome H. Powell, Chair of the Board of Governors, Federal Reserve System and exchanged views in Bengaluru. Shaktikanta Das also met Thomas Jordan, Chairman of the Governing Board, Swiss National Bank, on Friday. (ANI)