Polity– Important International institutions, agencies, and fora- their structure, mandate & Economy
Recently, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry led the Indian delegation for the G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and the Digital Economy, which was held in 8th to 9th June 2019 in Tsukuba city, Japan. For the first time Ministers of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Commerce participated in a joint session on Digital Economy at the G20Ministerial Meeting.
G20 is made up of 19 countries and the European Union(EU). The 19 countries are: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, The Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The G20 members represent two-thirds of the world’s people and 85 percent of its economy.
Key highlights the Ministerial meetings
Trade and Digital Economy Ministers
The Trade and Digital Economy meeting is one of the 8 Ministerial meetings taking place in Japan alongside the 2019 G20 Summit. The other seven Ministerial meetings are Agriculture Ministers’, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors’ meeting, Labour and Employment Ministers’ meeting, Tourism Ministers meeting, Ministerial meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth, Health Ministers’ meeting and Foreign Ministers’ meeting, following are the key highlights of the meeting;
- The G20 Trade Ministers deliberations will form part of the G20Summit Leaders agenda in the formal discussions and will also be a part of the Summit Declaration.
- Over 50 Trade and Digital Economy Ministers came together for the first time in G20 history in Tsukuba, Japan, to discuss how G20 economies can promote trade and investment and maximize benefits from the development of the digital economy and technologies to ensure sustainable growth of the global economy.
- It was mentioned that digitalization is expected to continue to create benefits for our economies and societies as a whole and help achieve the inclusive, innovative and human-centered future society – “Society 5.0”.
- They also discussed how they can work together toward the realization of a sustainable and innovative global society, by making full use of digital technologies, together with trade and investment, and harnessing the benefits of technological transformation and globalization, taking into consideration national needs, priorities and circumstances.
Important areas that were discussed include;
- Human-centered future society
- Data-free flow with trust
- Human-centered Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Governance Innovation – Agile and Flexible Policy Approaches in the Digital Economy
- Security in the Digital Economy
- SDGs and Inclusion[Tackling the Digital Divide and Promoting Digitalization]
- Digital Infrastructure
- Digital Literacy
- Bridging the Digital Gender Divide
- Inclusion of MSMEs and Entrepreneurs
- Inclusive Design for people at all ages /Persons with disabilities
- Digital transformation of industries
- Smart Cities
- Dialogue on Trade Developments
- Sound Business Environment that Promotes Market-Driven Investment Decisions
- Promotion of Trade and Investment that Contribute to Sustainable and Inclusive Growth
- WTO reform and Recent Developments in Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements
- The interface between Trade and the Digital Economy( reaffirmed the importance of the interface between trade and the digital economy as stated in the Buenos Aires Leaders’ declaration)
- Union Minister of Commerce held a series of bilateral talks with a number of countries on the sidelines of the two days G20 Ministerial on Trade and Digital Economy in Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.
- During the bilateral meetings with host Japan and countries like USA, UK, China, France, Singapore, Korea, Spain, Canada, EU, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Chile and Australia, the Minister emphasized the need for reciprocal market access for Indian products.
- The Minister said that the slowdown in global trade and investment is of serious concern to all of us as it adversely affects economic growth,development and job creation. He called for de-escalating trade tensions and reviving confidence in the rules based multilateral trading system which all countries had so painstakingly created.
- The Commerce Minister said that while India is com mitted to working towards building free trade, that is inclusive and development centric to bring prosperity to people around the world, focus on the imperatives of meeting the goals of SDGs, and eliminating poverty and deprivation must not be lost.
Significance of the meeting
This Meeting, which gathered both Trade Ministers and Digital Economy Ministers together for the first time, presented an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the interface between trade and the digital economy
G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting
Union Minister of Finance Government of India along with Deputy Governor of RBI participated in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting and associated events during June 8-9, 2019 at Fukuoka, Japan. The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors have published a Communiqué from the most recent G20 Summit held in Japan. Key areas of discussion in respect of financial services included:
- The development of, and financial stability risks arising from, non-bank financing;
- Reports from the Financial Stability Board and International Organization of Securities Commissions on market fragmentation, which the G20 intends to address, including through regulatory and supervisory cooperation;
- The withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships, which the G20 is monitoring and aims to address;
- Sustainable finance and financial inclusions, which the G20 notes are important for global growth;
- Financial technology, including crypto-assets; the G20 notes that such assets do not pose a threat to global financial stability at this stage, but it is committed to monitoring risks and welcomes the work of the FSB and IOSCO in this arena; and
- The Financial Action Task Force’s Standards on money laundering, terrorist financing and proliferation financing; the G20 is calling for the swift implementation of the Standards and supports the action of the FATF in strengthening the global response to proliferation financing.
G20 Ministerial Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth
Power Minister represented India in the G20 Meeting on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth
Energy and Environment:
- The participants recognized the importance of leading energy transitions to improve the “3E+S” (Energy Security, Economic Efficiency, and Environment + Safety) as well as urgently addressing key global issues and challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, resource efficiency, sustainable consumption and production, air, land, freshwater and marine pollution, urban environmental quality, and energy access.
- Adopted the “G20 Karuizawa Innovation Action Plan on Energy Transitions and Global Environment for Sustainable Growth” to accelerate the virtuous cycle as a collaborative endeavor to facilitate voluntary actions.
- Welcomed the Research and Development 20 for clean energy technologies (“RD20”) to promote international collaborative relationships among leading R&D institutes from G20 members.
- They also recognized the critical role of innovation in the renewable energy.
- The G20 Energy Ministers, depending on national circumstances, recognized the potential of developing and deploying Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) technologies, 3 including through international cooperation and multilateral innovation initiatives, taking note of work on “Carbon Recycling” and “Emissions to Value”.
- In light of recent developments highlighting concern about energy security, the G20 Energy Ministers acknowledge energy security as one of the guiding principles for the transformation of energy systems. The G20 Energy Ministers also emphasize the importance of resilience, protection, and development of reliable energy infrastructure to prevent energy supply disruptions.
- The G20 Energy Ministers recognize the key contribution that energy efficiency makes to energy transitions as well as its vast untapped potential as an affordable, secure and sustainable means to provide energy services and welcome the work of the Task Groups of the Energy Efficiency Leading Programme (EELP), IPEEC and note the progress on establishing the Energy Efficiency Hub.
- The G20 Energy Ministers welcome the impressive progress achieved with regard to the development and deployment of renewable energy and resolved to work together with support of international organizations such as IRENA, IEA, ISA, and the Biofuture Platform, to promote innovative solutions for accelerating the major potential of renewable energies.
Energy Access and Affordability
- The G20 Energy Ministers recognize that ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services and clean cooking facilities is one of the prerequisites for social and economic development, noting the disproportionate impact of energy poverty on women