The first-ever G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) meeting concluded in Mumbai, India. The three-day working group meeting was attended by over 100 delegates from G20 member countries, invitee countries, regional groupings, and international organizations, including Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal. The objective of the meeting was to discuss priorities related to accelerating global trade and investment and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.
Accelerating Global Trade and Investment
The discussions focused on making trade work for growth and prosperity, building resilient Global Value Chains (GVCs), integrating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade, and building efficient logistics for trade. The Indian Presidency is pursuing these priorities related to global trade and investment.
Building Resilient Global Value Chains
On March 29th, the discussions revolved around making trade work for growth and prosperity and the way forward for building resilient Global Value Chains (GVCs). The discussions centered on mapping GVCs to build predictability and enhance their resilience. Several member countries stressed the need for diversification of existing value chains and accelerating the participation of firms from developing countries and LDCs for holistic economic growth.
Integrating Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Global Trade
On March 30th, the discussions centered around the integration of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in global trade and building efficient logistics for trade. Several member countries affirmed the need for making information and finances easily accessible for MSMEs. In addition, several countries expressed that the digital entry barriers for MSMEs should be seriously reviewed for their efficient integration with the digital trade platforms.
During his press interaction, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal highlighted the theme of India's G20 Presidency that aims to promote universal values and adoption of a human-centric approach. He stressed that throughout India’s illustrious past, the country has been the torchbearer of democracy, diversity and inclusion. Goyal further stated that India chose to take up G20 Presidency during a tough geopolitical and globally critical economic environment, and since 2023 marks the 75th year of India’s independence, this is an opportune time for the country to share its ancient wisdom with the world to find a middle path. This ancient wisdom can be integrated with advanced technology for building “One Earth, One Family and One Future”.
Equitable Distribution of Benefits
The Union Minister restated that TIWG has an important role in formulating concrete outcomes for inclusive growth that drive trade and investment across the Global South, and not just among G20 member countries. He strongly advocated for equitable distribution of the benefits of global trade by and among all countries, including developing and least developed countries (LDCs) in order to progress towards a new world that is driven by collaboration, sustainable growth, and solutions-oriented mindset.
The discussions in all the four sessions were enriching and mostly directed towards action and outcomes. The aim under India’s G20 Presidency is to strengthen the shared understanding of challenges that are hindering the acceleration of global trade and investment and collectively explore existing opportunities that can be harnessed to find common solutions. Trade and investment being vital tools for enhancing the local supply of goods and services, the Secretary, Department of Commerce, Shri Sunil Barthwal, added that the discussions were aimed at strengthening the shared understanding of challenges and finding solutions guided by this year’s motto — Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.