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G7 summit: Ukraine crisis and major takeaways for India

  • Category
    International Relations
  • Published
    6th Jul, 2022

Overview

  • About G7
  • Key highlights of the summit
  • Significance for India
  • Future implications

Context

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, invited by Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany, participated in the G7 Summit meeting in Germany. The summit is being hosted by Germany in its capacity as the chair of G7.

  • Germany has held the G7 presidency from 1 January and will continue till 31 December 2022.
  • Its choice of the guest countries was a recognition of the importance of democracies sticking together, no matter whether they also talk to Russia and China in a parallel way.

Background

  • The G7 summit is held in the shadow of the continuing Ukraine war, with no end in sight.
  • There were determined agenda items on which India made its contribution.
  • These included issues of environment, energy, climate, food security, health, gender equality, and democracy.

What is G7?

  • The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political grouping consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. 

Key takeaways from the summit

  • Climate change: G7 nations are moving closer on their climate strategies, but differences over key details will prevent more concerted action for now.
  • Building back better and greener: G7 countries will channel more international development finance into infrastructure and climate change projects, but they refused to label the initiative as a direct rival to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
  • Shifting approach towards China: The G7 conference official communiqué directly mentioned competition with China for the first time—a notable shift from previous summits, although countries differ in their approach.
  • Global Covid-19 vaccine rollout: G7 countries are ramping up their vaccine diplomacy efforts; however, the implementation of pledges will remain to be seen, and G7 states have lost the public relations battle to China and Russia.
  • Global tax agreement remains elusive: Leaders endorsed the 15% global minimum corporate tax plan, but major obstacles to its implementation remain.
  • One important takeaway is India's inclusion in the Just Energy Transition Partnership.
    • This was initiated with South Africa at COP26, as a long-term ambitious approach to support transition to a low carbon, climate resilient economy.
  • US has announced to lead the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment.
    • This PGII intends to cover the infrastructure gap in developing countries and strengthen global economic and supply chains and thus contribute to the security among the friends of the US.
  • Other major outcomesincluded the
    • Global Alliance on Food Security
    • Climate Club
    • a $600 billion Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment

Why G7 assumes significance for India?

  • An influential grouping: The G7 is not just seven rich countries, but a group of more than 30 Western nations. The European Union as a whole also participates in all meetings.
  • Big numbers: G-7 members comprising Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and the US currently represent close to 45% of the global GDP and more than 10% of the world's population.
  • Solution for global challenges: In addition to addressing economic issues, the G-7 has become a forum for consultation where common grounds are being found for major global challenges.
    • The G-7 has taken some important decisions with regard to global food security, supply chain resilience, digital and net zero transitions.

Why India assumes significance for G7?

  • Strong figure: India has very strong economic and strategic ties with major economies.
  • Beneficial investment point: As the Indian economy is likely to be one of the fastest growing economies in the post-pandemic phase, partnership with India is attractive for the West.
  • Attractive investments: For its sustainable modernisation and energy transition, India is keen to attract investment, technology, and green finance from G7 nations.
  • To overcome challenges from Russia and China: The G7 relations with Russia are bad, and tensions with China have grown. The main focus of NATO’s Madrid summit which is taking place immediately after the G7 meeting is the direct security threat from Moscow, and challenges posed by China.
    • In these circumstances, strengthening partnership with New Delhi is useful for the G7.
  • To meet global targets: Moreover, major global targets related to green transition and Sustainable Development Goals cannot be met without robust and equitable Indian economic growth.
  • Potential: India has the potential to scale up new emerging technologies, bringing costs down, and making it affordable to other developing countries.
  • India is an active participant in plurilateral groupings like the Quad, I2U2, and BRICS, 
  • Other strengths of the Indian economy:
    • Ambitious climate target and performance
    • Contribution to global food security

Conclusion

In this scenario, G7 summit and invitation to India is a welcome development. G-7 summit is an opportunity to expand the global dimension of India's growing partnerships with the US and the West.

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q1. Discuss the relevance of G7 countries in resolving key global issues.

Q2. Analyse the issue with G7 countries. What are the reforms necessary to make the grouping more effective?

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