G-20 can serve as a conduit for international institutions like the UN, World Bank to reflect the new world order.
India’s G-20 Presidency has come at a notable time in the nation’s history and changing global dynamics. India is today the third-largest economy in purchasing power parity and the fifth-largest in nominal GDP. Among the large economies, India is expected to clock the highest growth rate this coming decade. Multiple forecasts predict it will transcend the nominal GDP targets of $5tn and $10tn in the coming decade to become the third-largest economy after the United States and China.
India and other emerging markets possess a demographic advantage that is contributing to rapid economic growth. The G-7, consisting of the US and European countries, hosts ageing populations and declining shares of global GDP. This decade will see the GDP of emerging markets outgrow that of the OECD countries, a seminal event in global history.
The world is also in the midst of the Digital Revolution. A massive transformation of business and global power structures is occurring with the phenomenal growth and advancements in software and automation, cloud computing, communication protocols like 5G, artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and autonomous machines. Technological progress and digital power have become significant components of geopolitical paradigms, as evidenced by the recent moves by the US to restrict semiconductor chip technology to China. This is already reordering the global supply chain, as seen by the reverse flow of industry from China to other countries setting up automated robotics-driven manufacturing at home, made competitive due to reduced labour and logistics costs. Globalisation is indeed in a state of flux and rapid change.
India is well poised to be a dominant power in the Digital Revolution. It is the largest exporter of software services, with a targeted $200bn in exports in FY23. India supports 60% of global outsourcing, with over 5.5m people employed. By 2025, India is expected to overtake the US in terms of the technological workforce in any country and the only country globally to be a provider of technology services at scale. Bengaluru today hosts a larger technological workforce than Silicon Valley. India’s innovation-based startup ecosystem is the third-largest in the world, growing rapidly and attracting considerable global capital. In FY23, FDI and remittances are expected to exceed $100bn each, amongst the largest in the world.
Uniquely, India has developed a robust Digital Public Goods system founded on the India Stack—a multiplatform network of digital utilities that have democratised digital and financial inclusion and support world-class innovation on top by providing a bouquet of open APIs. The India Stack gives the nation unparalleled strength in the global digital market.
Over the last decade, India has transformed at an unprecedented pace. Prime Minister Narendra Modi integrally understands the power of inclusion, having presided over the most prolific developmental rate seen in Independent India. Amidst the nation’s development pace and growing digital eminence, the G-20 Presidency is thus a unique opportunity to showcase the New India to the world and demonstrate democratic leadership in the new world order.
The Quad is just the beginning of a new geopolitical global order where India will play a significant role along with the US and Europe as part of the Free World. International institutions like the UN, IMF, G-7, World Bank and others must reflect these changes, and the G-20 can serve as a conduit. This is why India has created a large-scale G-20 outreach program to demonstrate its leadership in various spheres. India must now dramatically expand its diplomatic reach and change the narrative about the nation and the capabilities of the Indian industry. In this globalised world, citizens can also seize the opportunity to showcase their outstanding achievements in all facets of human activity to ensure that India secures its rightful place in the new global order. The G-20 Presidency provides the perfect stage to collate and showcase India’s achievements and robust frameworks.
T.V. Mohandas Pai (Chairman, Aarin Capital) and Nisha Holla (Technology Fellow, C-CAMP).