India’s G20 priorities under the Trade and Investment Working Group
The Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) was established in 2016 and the ideals and goals of the group have been carried forward by all successive G20 Presidencies since then. Some of the areas where the working group has contributed has been in trade and investment discussion including trade and investment policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis, global value chains, digital trade and cross-border data flows, trade in services, investment facilitation, and FDI screening. The larger goals of the TIWG are in strengthening the G20 trade and investment mechanism, promoting global trade growth, supporting the multilateral trading system, promoting global investment policy cooperation and coordination, and promoting inclusive and coordinated global value chains. Overall, the TIWG mandate is to undertake cooperation on trade and investment considering the priorities of the G20 Presidency.
The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has been closely involved with developing India’s Priority Issues and Negotiating Outcomes in the working group.
The 1st G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting concluded in Mumbai which was held between 28-30th March in the presence of Commerce and Industry Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal. Over 100 representatives from G20 member countries, invitee countries, regional groups, and international organizations gathered in Mumbai for the three-day working group meeting. The discussions primarily focused on expediting global trade and investment, while also making progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goals. The Indian presidency’s priority global trade and investment issues were discussed in closed-door sessions. The priority issues focused on building the way forward for resilient Global Value Chains (GVCs), integrating Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade, and building efficient logistics for trade.
The larger focus of India’s G20 Presidency has been on inclusive growth and integrating the Global South. TIWG has an important role in formulating concrete outcomes for the inclusive growth India is looking forward to. It would help in driving trade and investment across the Global South, and not just among the G20 member countries. The TIWG meeting also discussed the trade finance gap and mentioned its relevance to the present global scenario As estimated by Asian Development Bank, the trade finance gap in 2018 was $1.5 trillion. It has now increased to $2 trillion in 2022. This increase has been marked due to rising risk aversion and inflation which has made banks’ lending restricted.
Addressing the concerns of MSMEs was also a priority issue for the TIWG meeting. MSMEs have been subjected to increased credit constraints due to the pandemic-induced recessions. The integration of MSMEs in global trade would henceforth involve solutions that deal with making credit more accessible to MSME’s, and working towards financial inclusion of small businesses in the business ecosystem.
The theme of India's G20 Presidency aims to promote universal values and the adoption of a human-centric approach. India’s G20 agenda is the creation of inclusive, ambitious, decisive, and action-oriented economic growth. India took up the G20 Presidency during a tough geopolitical and globally critical economic environment. This presents an opportunity for the country to share its timeless wisdom with the global community, in order to seek a balanced and harmonious approach to global growth.