JAIPUR, Aug 23: A day ahead of the G20 trade ministers meeting here, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said the member countries are looking at reaching a consensus on a “Jaipur call for action” to help promote industry, MSMEs, and global trade.
Representatives of the G20 countries are gathering here for the trade and investment ministerial meeting, scheduled on August 24-25.
Briefing the media about the meeting, Goyal said that the officials of the countries have been burning the midnight oil to forge consensus and build a document on the priority areas.
When asked whether disagreement among G20 member countries over the Russia-Ukraine conflict is a concern, Goyal said members are trying to build a consensus on as many issues as possible keeping in mind this reality.
“….there are some realities on which there is no possibility of a consensus … barring this we are trying to build a consensus on all the remaining priorities,” he added.
In February, the meeting of finance leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies, referred to as the group of 20 or G20, in Bengaluru had ended without a joint communique after Russia and China opposed any reference to the war in Ukraine. Also, no communiqué was issued after the third G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting at Gandhinagar in July.
The five priority areas that are being discussed are trade for growth and prosperity; trade and resilient global supply chain; integrating MSMEs in global trade; logistics for trade; and WTO reforms.
Strengthening mutual cooperation in the G20 to increase transparency in the use of non-tariff measures would be discussed in the meeting.
The G20 members include Canada, France, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the UK, the US and the EU. Representatives from six invitee countries — Bangladesh, Egypt, the Netherlands, Oman, Singapore and the UAE — will also participate.
G20 accounts for 85 per cent of global GDP, 78 per cent of global trade, and almost two-thirds of the world’s population. India is holding the presidency for this year.
“We have been able to come up with significant consensus amongst the member countries invoking a Jaipur call for action. The Jaipur call for action will help promote industry, MSME sector, upgrade the global trade help desk, and bridge information gaps for MSMEs to help them expand their business and trade,” Goyal told reporters here.
He said that the members have deliberated on formulating high-level principles for digitalisation of trade and trade facilitation.
“We are confident that tomorrow and day after ministerial meetings will come up with a concrete actionable outcome agenda which will help the world withstand any future shocks,” he said.
They have also emphasised on the rules-based, open inclusive multilateral trading system, he said adding India has increasingly become the voice of the global south.
On WTO reforms, he said that India wants the dispute settlement mechanism of the Geneva-based organisation to work smoothly.
Goyal has held a bilateral meeting with WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who is here for the meeting.
He added that though there is a need to modernise the WTO, it should take into account the level of development in developing as well as least developed countries.
“Common but differentiated responsibility (CBDR) should be there…and consensus based decision making of the WTO should continue,” he said. (PTI)