Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Namaskar!
A very warm welcome to Jaipur – the Pink City! This region is known for its dynamic and enterprising people.
Throughout history, trade has led to exchange of ideas, cultures, and technology. It has brought people closer. Trade and globalization have also lifted hundreds of millions out of extreme poverty.
Today, we see global optimism and confidence in the Indian economy. India is seen as a combination of openness, opportunities and options. During the last nine years, India has become the fifth largest global economy. This is the result of our sustained efforts. We embarked on the journey of ‘Reform, Perform, and Transform’ in 2014. We have increased competitiveness, and enhanced transparency. We have expanded digitization, and promoted innovation. We have established dedicated freight corridors and built industrial zones. We have moved away from red tape to red carpet and liberalized FDI flows. Initiatives like Make in India and Aatma Nirbhar Bharat have given a boost to manufacturing. Above all, we have brought policy stability. We are committed to make India the third largest global economy in the next few years.
Current global challenges, from the pandemic to geo-political tensions, have tested the world economy.As G20, it is our responsibility to rebuild confidence in international trade and investments. We must build resilient and inclusive global value chains that can withstand future shocks.In this context, India’s proposal to create a Generic Framework for Mapping Global Value Chains is important.This framework aims to assess vulnerabilities, minimize risks, and enhance resilience.
Technology’s transformative power in trade is undeniable. India’s shift to an online single indirect tax – the GST – helped create a single internal market boosting inter-state trade. Our Unified Logistics Inter-face Platform makes trade logistics cheaper and more transparent.Another game changer is ‘Open Network for Digital Commerce’, which will democratize our digital marketplace eco-system.We have already done that with our Unified Payments Inter-face for payment systems.Digitizing processes and use of e-commerce have the potential to enhance market access. I am glad that your group is working on the ‘High Level Principles for the Digitalization of Trade Documents’.These principles can help countries in implementing cross-border electronic trade measures, and reduce compliance burdens. As cross-border E-commerce continues to grow, there are challenges as well.We need to work collectively to ensure equitable competition between large and small sellers.We also need to address the problems faced by consumers in fair price discovery and grievance handling mechanisms.
India believes in a rules-based, open, inclusive, multilateral trading system, with the WTO at its core. India has advocated the concerns of the Global South at the 12th WTO Ministerial Conference. We were able to forge consensus on safeguarding the interests of millions of farmers and small businesses. We must pay more attention to MSMEs, given their key role in the global economy. MSMEs account for 60 to 70 percent of employment and contribute 50 percent to the global GDP. They need our continued support. Their empowerment translates to societal empowerment. For us, MSME means – Maximum Support to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. India has integrated MSMEs into public procurement through our online platform -Government e-marketplace. We have been working with our MSME sector to adopt the ethos of ‘Zero Defect’ and ‘Zero Effect’ on the environment. Increasing their participation in global trade and Global Value Chains has been a priority of the Indian presidency. The proposed ‘Jaipur Initiative to foster seamless flow of information to MSMEs’ will address the challenge of inadequate access to market and business-related information faced by MSMEs. I am also confident that the upgrade of the Global Trade Help Desk will increase participation of MSMEs in global trade.
It is our collective responsibility as One Family, to restore confidence in international trade and investment processes. I am confident that you will work collectively to ensure that the global trading system gradually transitions into a more representative and inclusive future. I wish you all success in your deliberations. Thank you very much!