G7 and India- Significance and Challenges- Explained Pointwise

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The Prime Minister of India attended the 50th Summit of G7 group which was held in from 13 to 15th June 2024. India is not a member of the G7. However, India participated as a guest in the 2019, 2021, and 2022 G7 summits at the invitation of France, the UK, and Germany respectively. This reflects India’s rising global stature and the recognition of its role as a major economic and geopolitical actor. The association of India with G7 comes with its own advantages and challenges. G7 Importance in India

Some Key Outcomes of G-7 Group Summit
1. Promotion of G7 PGII (Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment)- Under this PGII, G7 will mobilise USD 600 billion by 2027 to deliver infrastructure projects to developing and middle-income countries.
2. Support and Promotion to India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC)– G-7 nations committed to promoting the IMEC. It also forms part of the PGII intiative.
3. Support to Infrastructure Projects- G7 also extended support for the Lobito Corridor in Central Africa and Luzon Corridor and the Middle Corridor.
4. Enhancing Interoperability of AI Governance- G7 countries aim to enhance interoperability amongst their AI governance approaches to promote greater certainty, transparency and accountability.
5. Extraordinary Revenue Acceleration (ERA) Loans for Ukraine- The G7 countries agreed to provide financing of approximately USD 50 billion in additional funding to Ukraine by the end of 2024.

What is the G-7 Group? What are the achievements of the Grouping?

G-7- G-7 is a group of the most developed and advanced economies of the world. The members of the G7 group are France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, and Canada. Summits are held annually and hosted on a rotation basis by the group’s members.

a. The G-7 originated from the Oil crisis of 1973 and the resulting financial crisis, which forced the leaders of 6 major industrial nations to convene a meeting in 1975.
b. The participating countries were the US, UK, France, West Germany, Japan, and Italy. Canada joined in 1976, leading to the formation of the G-7.
c. It was known as the ‘G8’ for several years after the original seven were joined by Russia in 1997. However, it was renamed as G-7 after Russia was expelled as a member in 2014 following its annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine.

Significance of the G7 Grouping

1. Grouping of advanced economies- G7 group controls 60% of global net wealth and drives 46% of global GDP. It also represents 10% of the world’s population.

2. Facilitates Dialogue- The G7 acts as a forum for member nations to have open and frank discussions on critical global issues. This allows them to understand different perspectives and build consensus.

3. Forges Collective Action- G7 aims to develop coordinated political responses to global challenges. This involves collaborative efforts on issues like trade agreements, security threats, or climate change initiatives.

4. Innovations in Governance- The introduction of initiatives like the “Hiroshima AI Process” highlights the G7’s role in addressing emerging technological challenges.

5. Global crisis response- G7 has coordinated actions on global economic recoveries, health emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic, and geopolitical conflicts including the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

What are the Challenges that the G-7 Group faces?

1. G7 is not representative in current times- In the initial years, it accounted for 2/3rd of global GDP. However, the G-7 group now accounts only for 1/3rd on PPP basis and less than 50% on nominal basis (market prices). The emerging 7 (E7) economies of India, China, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Turkey are not part of it.

2. Failure in tackling Global issues- G7 failed in tackling global issues and challenges of Climate change, terrorism, West Asian crisis, COVID 19 pandemic.

3. Historical Polluters- G-7 accounts for 59% of historical CO2 emissions and pledged phase out fossil fuels. There has been no visible progress of the same and they currently account for twice the CO2 emission than African continent.

4. Trade Conflicts- Trade disputes among G7 members and with other countries disrupt global economic stability. Weakening of rules based of trade regime through WTO and trade wars has active role of G7 countries.

5. Populism and Nationalism- The rise of populist and nationalist movements within G7 countries challenge multilateral cooperation and the G-7 group’s commitment to globalism and liberal democratic values.

What is the significance of India’s association with G-7 Countries?

1. India’s Economic Significance- According to the IMF, India is one of the fastest-growing economies in the world. India’s economy is larger than 4 G-7 member countriesFrance, Italy, the UK and Canada.
India’s abundant young and skilled workforce, coupled with its market potential, low manufacturing costs, and favourable business climate, makes it an attractive investment destination.

2. India’s growing strategic Importance in the Indo-Pacific- India has emerged as a major strategic partner for the Western G-7 countries. This has helped in containing China’s expanding influence, particularly in the Indian Ocean.

3. India’s Role in Addressing the European Energy Crisis- India’s ability to secure discounted Russian oil and supply refined fuels to Europe has made it an important player in addressing the European energy crisis.

4. India’s Potential for Mediating the Russia-Ukraine Conflict- India’s long-standing relationships with both Russia and the West makes it a potential mediator in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict.

5. Regulation of AI- India has been an active participant in the debate on the global regulation of AI. With the focus of G-7 countries on the regulation of Artificial Intelligence, India’s association with G-7 countries can help in the development of a common global framework for AI.

What are the Challenges with India’s further deepening of engagement with G-7 Countries?

1. Escalating conflict in Europe- With the escalation of conflict in Europe, India finds it hard to duck its consequences. This is reflected in the choice of Indian PM to stay away from the Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland that took place after the G7 summit.

2. Defence Dependence on Russia- India’s reliance on Russia for over 60% of its military equipment creates a complex situation. A strained West-Russia relationship could disrupt supply chains and force India to diversify its defence partnerships.

3. Economic Interdependence- Deep economic ties with both the US and China makes it difficult for India to balance its trade relations with both these countries.

4. Geopolitical Rivalry- The intensified competition between the US and China in the Indian Ocean region forces India to take sides on issues that don’t directly align with its national interests.

5. Non Inclusion of India as a permanent member- G-7 has an obsolete membership structure which does not include the emerging economies like India.

What Should be the Way Forward?

India’s evolving relationship with the G7 signifies its growing importance in global economic and strategic affairs. The synergies between India and G7 nations, driven by shared values and mutual interests, present vast opportunities for collaborative growth. As India continues to rise on the global stage, its partnership with the G7 will play a pivotal role in shaping a balanced and inclusive world order. Following should be the way forward-

1. Deepening Economic Ties- Encouraging investment in sectors like renewable energy, technology, infrastructure and enhancing trade liberalization efforts can bolster economic relations between India and G-7 group.

2. Strategic Collaborations- Strengthening defense cooperation through joint exercises, intelligence sharing, and technology transfers can address common security challenges.

3. Multilateral Engagement- India’s active participation in G7 forums can contribute to shaping inclusive global governance frameworks. Joint efforts in climate action, focusing on sustainable development and green technologies, can set benchmarks for global environmental policies.

4. Technological Innovation- Collaborative efforts in digital infrastructure development, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence can drive the next wave of technological advancements. Joint research initiatives in fields like biotechnology, space exploration, and renewable energy can foster innovation.

Read More- The Indian Express
UPSC Syllabus- GS Paper 2- Important International Organisations
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