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India is for open government, expanding international trade: Piyush Goyal
Aug 25, 2023

India is for open government, expanding international trade

Global South should have a greater say in decision making

MSMEs are gems of most economies, contribute significantly to economic activities: Piyush Goyal


Through the G20 Presidency, we have expressed our collective future in business and trade, having agreed to map global value chains, enable active contribution of least developed countries, create large database for MSMEs and commit to digitalisation and paper free international trade, said Mr Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles, Government of India. He noted that India stands for open government and expanding international trade. He was speaking during the Trade Ministers’ Session of the B20 India Summit 2023 in New Delhi on 25 August. The summit is being organized by CII, the Secretariat for the B20 India.

Mr Goyal said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has articulated that the Global South should have a greater say in decision making and high policymaking bodies. He said that MSMEs contribute significantly to economic activities around the world, provide jobs to millions and are truly the gems of most economies. “MSMEs, due to inability, small size, and lack of information are not able to encash several opportunities as we would like them to. We shall strengthen the databases that will help in greater participation of the MSMEs in international trade and economic activity,” he said.

H.E. Mr Tipu Munshi, Commerce Minister, Government of Bangladesh thanked India for inviting Bangladesh to the G20 and expressed that these deliberations and the outcomes thereof have the potential to greatly help businesses in the country. He said as we move towards becoming a middle-income country in 2026, we are very interested to see how our collaboration with India works out.

Hon’ble Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, Canada said that the Indian diaspora in Canada works seamlessly with India thanks to the shared heritage, which is a tremendous asset.

H.E. Mr Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice President & European Commissioner for Trade, The European Union said that EU has committed to become climate neutral by 2050. One of the instruments of becoming climate neutral the EU has adopted is by putting price of carbon on economic activity. To avoid discrimination and promote fair practice, we are putting the same price of carbon on domestic producers as on imported goods, he said. Mr Dombrovskis said that EU shares one single market, making it the global trading superpower. “There is a need to strengthen ties with reliable partners around the world to ensure diversified and resilient supply chains. It is also in this spirit that we relaunch negotiations with India… Democracies in the world, which want to work together for global peace and prosperity, need to join forces and deal with complex geopolitical situations in current times,” he said.

H.E. Dr Zulkifli Hasan, Trade Minister, Republic of Indonesia expressed that he has strong will and commitment to forge close relationship with India as the potential between the two nations is enormous. I attempt to be the bridge between the two countries so we can overcome all the trade barriers, he added.

H.E. Mr Dukgeun Ahn, Minister for Trade, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, Republic of Korea said that the country is not just looking at reducing tariffs and expecting more shipment but wants to build industry ecosystem in the green and renewable energy system, semiconductor, EV and aerodynamics sectors. He expressed confidence that the efforts of India and South Korea to upgrade their relationship will give momentum for the industry sector in the two countries to work together and build an industry ecosystem that aims for a better future.

Talking about non-tariff barriers and increasing protectionism in countries, H.E. Qais bin Mohammed al Yousef, Minister of Commerce, Industry & Investment Promotion, Sultanate of Oman noted that one way of addressing the issue is by adopting rule-based fair and equitable trade promoted in the G20. He also talked about the deepening trade and historic relationship between the two countries and said that Oman is looking forward to an FTA between the two nations.

The Rt Hon Kemi Badenoch MP, Secretary of State for Business and Trade, President of the Board of Trade, and Minister for Women and Equalities, Government of United Kingdom said that India and the UK are negotiating a Free Trade Agreement. Talking about several geopolitical challenges, she said that a lot of things are happening around the world and underlined the need to build resilience in trade.

H.E. Ms Helene Budliger Artieda, State Secretary for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Swiss Confederation said that Switzerland exports smart FDI. “Switzerland is one of the most innovative countries. We are known for quality products for all sorts of versatile instruments, high-precision tools, etc. We believe we can assist India become the premier manufacturing and service place of the world. Smart FDI is not just money,” she said. Ms Artieda said that pitching India to the Swiss is easy as everyone sees the opportunities. Mr Goyal added that the Swiss also bring innovation to the table. “Switzerland is very strong on R&D, particularly in pharmaceuticals. I believe India has significant skill and talent to help Swiss companies do the same things faster and at a more competitive price to make medicines for the whole world,” he added.

Mr Goyal highlighted that traditionally US and India used to have many disputes, however, more recently, the two countries have resolved 6 out of the 7 ongoing disputes bilaterally, in a first for WTO. Adding to the conversation, Ambassador Katherine Tai, United States Trade Representative (USTR), United States of America said that disagreements are inevitable, but underlined the political alignment of wills to resolve issues as much as possible. She said that the bilateral resolution of the disputes is a template breaking pattern the US and India have demonstrated.

Senator The Hon Tim Ayres, Assistant Minister for Trade & Manufacturing, Australia expressed confidence that the FTA between the two countries is going to help both the countries in development and assist businesses to engage and grow. “This is an agreement that will be good for the Indo-Pacific region. It will be an opportunity to work on some of the big challenges of our age, climate, energy, critical minerals, getting our supply chains right and resilient, lifting the living standards of the people living in our region,” he said.

H.E. Mr Marcio Elias Rosa, Vice Minister, Ministry of Development, Industry, Commerce and Services, Brazil talked about the issues Brazil will focus on as the next President of the G20. “Sustainability will be the decisive factor for the future and for the quality of lives of the current and future generations. The energy transition we need to pursue is the one that combines the maintenance, preservation and good use of natural resources. Brazil intends to pursue a discussion in the G20 of sustainable development in 3 dimensions – environmental, social and economic.

H.E. Mr Wang Showmen, China International Trade Representative and Vice Minister of Commerce, China said that the trade relationship between China and India has been growing very fast. “Last year, our bilateral trade reached USD 130 billion. If there had been an FTA between the two countries, the trade potential will be much further tapped, to the benefit of the people of our country,” he said. Responding to a comment by Mr Goyal, the Chinese delegate said that the doors of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will always be open to India.

H.E. Ms Nomalungelo Gina, Deputy Minister for Trade, Industry and Competition, South Africa was also part of the panel.

Mr Goyal said that UAE and India, in a historic milestone, had recently concluded their FTA in 88 days, fastest ever negotiated comprehensive economic partnership in the history of the world. Expanding on the subject, H.E. Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Chair, WTO's 13th Ministerial Conference and Minister of State for Foreign Trade, United Arab Emirates said that the two countries looked at the bigger picture. “How we are going to bring value to our people. Transparency, trust and reliability between the two nations were the critical factors and key drivers of the conclusion of the agreement.

Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Head, B20 India Secretariat and Director General, CII noted that the summit was being attended by more than 1,500 delegates from 55 countries.


25 August 2023

New Delhi

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