India is expected to pitch for focusing on issues relating to macroeconomic stability and inclusive growth at the upcoming meetings of G20 finance and foreign ministers that are taking place under the shadow of the Ukraine conflict. India is also hosting a conclave on Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) next month to which all the “friendly neighbouring” countries have been invited, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, indicating that Pakistan is not among the invitees for the conclave.

The conference will be held in Hyderabad in the first half of March and a significant number of countries apart from G20 member nations have been invited with an aim to articulate views on key issues under the G20 finance track.

The first meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors (FMCBG) under India’s G20 residency will be held on February 24 and 25 in Bengaluru. The G20 foreign ministers’ meeting will be held in Delhi on March 1 and 2.

Foreign ministers of almost all G20 countries including Japan’s Hayashi Yoshimasa, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Canada’s Melanie Joly are set to attend the meeting on March 1 and 2.

“The focus of G20 has to be in areas for which G20 was created, basically focus should be on macroeconomic stability and financial stability at the global level,” said one of the people cited above.

They said India’s priorities for G20 are those which resonate with the grouping as well as with the larger international community. At the same time, they added that G20 functions under the principle of broad consensus.

They said countries around the world are suffering because of falling growth, increasing inflation, lower demands for goods and services as well as increasing prices of food, fuel and fertilisers, indicating that these issues could figure in the upcoming meetings. “We want the G20 to deal with issues that are important. It does not mean that there won’t be differences among the G20 countries,” said the person adding the larger issues underlying G20 are to bring in a certain measure of economic stability that has the potential to translate into political stability.

“We want countries to focus on issues that are imp[ortant. There are high expectations from G20. Critical thing is to get consensus,” the person said.

Asked whether the Ukraine issue will dominate the foreign ministers’ meeting as it would take place days after the first anniversary of the Ukraine War, the people said it could figure in the deliberations.

“Those issues are there. Nobody is denying that those are the real issues. What is important is that, while those issues are there, it is important to focus on issues that are important to G20,” the person said.

The people familiar with the matter said global governance today is unable to live up to the task at hand.

They said there has been widespread enthusiasm among states hosting various meetings relating to the G20 and that the events are resulting in sprucing up of various cities and towns.

They said around 100,000 people linked to G20 events are expected to visit India under its presidency and it could accrue around Rs 850 crore in revenue.

The discussions in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting are intended to provide a clear mandate for the various work streams of the G20 Finance Track in 2023.


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