New Delhi/Jaipur: The G20 Trade and Investment Ministers’ meeting concluded yesterday at Jaipur, fondly called the Pink City of India. The meeting was led by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Textiles.
He welcomed, thanked, and appreciated the Ministerial delegations and delegates of G20 members, invited countries and International Organisations, including World Trade Organization, UNCTAD, International Trade Center and OECD for their commitment and contribution to deliberations that led to the finalisation and adoption of Outcome Document and Chair’s Summary.
In his address to the G20 Ministers, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi emphasized that as G20, it is our responsibility to rebuild confidence in international trade and investment order. He stressed the need to build resilient and inclusive global value chains that can withstand future shocks and ensure higher participation of MSMEs in global trade. He also spoke about India’s firm belief in a rules-based, open, inclusive, multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its core.
Under India’s Presidency, the G20 Trade and Investment Ministerial reached a groundbreaking consensus on five concrete and action oriented deliverables which have been adopted in the Outcome Document of Trade Ministerial Meeting held in Jaipur.
The first one being adoption of High-Level Principles on digitalization of trade documents wherein the G20 Ministers have enunciated 10 broad principles that comprehensively cover various dimensions of an effective transition to paperless trade. These principles will provide guidance to the countries in implementing measures related to the cross-border exchange of electronic trade-related data and documents, emphasizing the need for a secure interoperable and transparent paperless cross-border trade environment. Moreover, inclusivity has been prioritized as one of the principles, ensuring that such a transition accommodates businesses of all sizes.
G20 Ministers also issued a Jaipur Call for Action for enhancing access to information for MSMEs. The Ministers called upon the International Trade Center (ITC), Geneva to work on a detailed implementation plan, in consultation with UNCTAD and WTO, for upgradation of ITC’s Global Trade Helpdesk which would address the informational gaps faced by MSMEs.
The Ministers also endorsed a G20 Generic Mapping Framework for GVCs which contained key building blocks of data, analysis, and representation of GVC data. The framework also advocated to identify key dimensions to help evaluate the resilience of GVCs both at the sectoral and product levels. Moreover, guiding principles for collaboration to address the need for keeping critical GVCs resilient and robust were also enunciated in the framework.
G20 Ministers welcomed the voluntary sharing of best practices on Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) for professional services and supported the development of a Presidency’s Compendium of best practices on MRAs for Professional Services. The compilation of good practices will spur successful entering into MRAs which will enable recognition of technical qualifications our doctors, nurses, lawyers, architect and other professionals by other countries. It will thus immensely help our professionals in providing their technical services across the world.
G20 Ministers acknowledged the importance of mutual dialogues to reduce regulatory divergences and associated trade costs and also to prevent unnecessary trade frictions, monitor trade and investment-related measures and solve existing irritants. G20 Ministers welcomed the Presidency’s suggestion to hold a G20 Standards Dialogue in 2023 that will bring together members, policymakers, regulators, standard-setting bodies and other stakeholders to discuss topics of common interest such as good regulatory practices and standards.
All the five outcomes received widespread support from the G20 Ministers.
In her keynote address, the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala exhorted all the G20 Ministers to narrow down realistic deliverables for agreement at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13) in early 2024. In this regard, G20 Ministers reaffirmed the essential role of the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core. They reiterated their commitment to strengthening the rule making arm of the WTO and underscored the importance of the ongoing negotiations in the WTO. Notably, the G20 Ministers agreed to continue to work constructively to ensure positive outcomes including on WTO reform at the WTO’s 13th Ministerial Conference (MC13).
Dr.Krishan Kumar, Chief Negotiator for India on Trade And Investment Working Group of G20 graced the occasion.