G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy Current Affairs - 2020

India attends second G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meet

The Union Minister Shri Piyush Goyal represented India at the second G20 Virtual Trade and Investment Ministers Meeting through video conferencing.

Highlights

The video conferencing was hosted by the current chair of G20 grouping, Saudi Arabia. Since April 2020, Saudi Arabia has hosted a series of such virtual summits to discuss COVID-19 threats, containment measures and economic challenged posed by the virus.

This meeting, the ministers agreed to work on ensuring flow of vital medical supplies and other essential goods across borders. They also agreed to deliver free, non-discriminatory, fair and transparent trade and investment environment. They also agreed to keep global supply chains functioning.

The main issue that every country is facing today due to COVID-19 crisis is excessive price volatility in food prices. This is threatening the food security as well. The G20 ministers agreed to work upon the issue at the meet.

Background

On 30 March, the G20 leaders agreed on the requirement for a “Coordinated Global Response”. In order to implement actions taken under coordinated global response, meetings were held on energy, labour, employment, agriculture, tourism and digital economy.

Earlier G20 meet

The G20 leaders have been focusing on tourism, energy and labour. In the end of April 2020, the corresponding ministers of the three sectors from the member countries held video conferences to work together and address the issue.

G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy

G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy is being held from 8 June- 9 June 2019 in Japanese city of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. Tsukuba is Japan’s one of main academic and research centers.

Key Highlights

  • Background: Japan has assumed its 1st ever rotating presidency in G20 thus a series of various ministerial meetings are being held in Japanese cities in 2019. Japan’s presidency will be culminating during G20 summit in Osaka on 28-29 June 2019.
  • Chairman: Two day meet was chaired by Masatoshi Ishida, Japanese Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications and Hiroshige Seko, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.
  • Objective: to discuss how economies of G20 countries can promote trade and investment and maximize benefits from development of digital economy and technologies so as to ensure sustainable growth of global economy.
  • Feature:
  • Over 50 Trade and Digital Economy Ministers got together for 1st time in G20 history in Tsukuba, Japan.
  • G20 Trade Ministers deliberations will form part of G20 Summit Leaders agenda in formal discussions and will also be a part of Summit Declaration.
  • The meet discussed importance of Digitalization that is expected to continue to create benefits for economies and societies as a whole and will also help achieve inclusive, innovative and human-centred future society ‘Society 5.0’.
  • Discussions:
  • Issues related to free trade dominated discussion in meeting against backdrop of ongoing trade war between United States (US) and China and US President Donald Trump’s policy of creating trade barriers and imposing tariffs.
  • Ways to reorder trade rules and finances in an era of technological change and protectionism were also discussed.

India and G20 Meet

  • Background: Ever since G20 was founded in 1999, India has been actively participating in its meetings. Indian delegation for G20 Ministerial meeting on Trade and Digital Economy is being led by Piyush Goyal, Union Minister of Commerce and Industry & Railways.
  • Discussion: Indian Commerce Minister will discuss developments in World Trade Organisation (WTO) matters, global trade situation, Digital trade and will also hold dialogue with other participating Trade Ministers on issues related to current international trade and investments.
  • Significance: This is for first time that Ministers of Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Union Ministry of Commerce (MCA) will participate in a joint session on Digital Economy at G20 Ministerial Meeting.