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G20 Summit: There's absolutely no doubt that India has arrived, says Arvind Panagariya

Panagariya noted that India's G20 presidency was like an elaborate wedding, he remarked that it would be difficult for other countries to replicate what India has achieved at the G20 summit.

September 11, 2023 / 07:04 AM IST
Arvind Panagariya

Arvind Panagariya

"There is absolutely no doubt that there is a sense of arrival for India... India has arrived," said Arvind Panagariya, former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog, hailing India's grand success at the G20 Summit. "When Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at the US Congress, there was a lot of buzz... There hasn’t been a buzz like this for any other leader."

The former chief of the government's policy think tank compared India's G20 presidency with an elaborate wedding. "It would be difficult for other countries to replicate what India has achieved at the G20 Summit," he told Moneycontrol.

A new friend in African Union 

Panagariya noted that the inclusion of the African Union during India's G20 presidency will help push its agenda at a global stage. According to Panagariya, who was also India's G20 Sherpa earlier, the ministries would convey what they do not want in the leaders' declaration, however, the scenario has changed.

"Africa is a continent with 55 countries, however, only South Africa was a part of the G20 bloc, while the European Union was represented fully. Its inclusion will push India's development agenda. It will help having a friend during negotiations," he said.

Closer ties with the US

India is now in the limelight, thanks to its economic development and a host of geopolitical factors. "The diplomatic ties between India and the US have moved faster under PM Modi's leadership. PM Modi has a good connect with world leaders," he said. Panagariya remarked that the US might have helped India in getting a consensus from other countries for the G20 leaders' declaration.

Declaration on Ukraine war

Panagariya noted how India struck the fine balance between Russia and the rest of the world through the wordings of the joint declaration without disrupting New Delhi's growing trade ties with Moscow despite mounting pressure from the West to be critical about Russia's aggression on Ukraine.

"The declaration could not have been better for Russia. Most of the complaints on the declaration are coming from the West on the ground that it has watered down the portions on Ukraine war," Panagariya said.

Focus on Global South

Panagariya noted that the G20 leaders' declaration focusses on Global South and India's role is very apparent for bringing a consensus on this. "When I was the Sherpa, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries would try to take over the declaration and become a G20 secretariat. However, the situation has changed now."

He noted that the focus on the Global South is likely to continue in the upcoming G20s as its presidency is to be held by developing nations such as Brazil and then South Africa.

Speaking of India's messaging during its G20 presidency, he said: "It is a great example of democracy and a developing country delivering the presidency so successfully. India came together despite being a relatively low-income country."

Watch the full interview with Arvind Panagariya here

Shweta Punj
first published: Sep 11, 2023 07:00 am

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