The G20 Summit in Delhi concluded on Sunday. Held on the 9th and 10th of September, the summit witnessed several historic agreements that are set to play a significant role for India and the world in the coming days.
Key highlights include the mega plan for the India-Middle East Europe Economic Corridor, the formation of the Global Biofuel Alliance to promote renewable energy, discussions on an FTA with Britain, concerns about global warming, and the inclusion of South Africa in the G20 for the first time.
India achieved a significant diplomatic victory at the summit. In a move seen as a setback to China’s BRI project, which aimed to establish a road network, India has outlined a massive corridor reaching Europe via rail, road, and sea routes. Italy also hinted at distancing itself from the BRI project. The IMEC project announced at the G20 summit includes European countries along with India and the Middle East.
What is the India-Middle East Corridor?
This initiative is seen as a significant step towards Prime Minister Modi’s vision of “One Earth, One Family, One Future.” The corridor has multiple dimensions and aims to connect the world. It will link Indian ports to the UAE via sea routes, then connect the UAE to Saudi Arabia by road and rail. From there, it will extend to Jordan and then link Jordan to Israel via road and rail. Finally, it will connect Israel to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea and then link Italy to France by road and rail.
Interestingly, China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which has seen billions of dollars in investment over the past decade, faces challenges due to this new corridor. The new rail corridor is expected to curb China’s expansionist policies.
US President Joe Biden described the corridor as a “game-changing regional investment.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasized that the corridor would redefine global connectivity and sustainable development, becoming a potent medium for economic integration between India, the Middle East, and Europe.
Assurance from Britain on FTA
During the G20 summit, a bilateral discussion between British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led to an agreement to expedite work on the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). A statement from the British Prime Minister’s office confirmed productive discussions on the FTA, highlighting its potential benefits for both nations.
South Africa Becomes a Permanent Member of G20
South Africa was warmly welcomed as a permanent member of the G20, a move made possible by India’s initiative. With this, South Africa becomes the 21st member of the G20 group. The proposal to include the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 was supported by the European Union and even China.
Discussion on Khalistan Issue in Canada
India raised concerns about the growing Khalistani threat in Canada during the G20 summit. A serious discussion took place between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the dangerous plans of Khalistanis. Trudeau emphasized that Canada supports peaceful protests but never promotes violence.
Turkey Praises India
Historically, Turkey has been critical of India, especially regarding the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. However, after attending the G20 summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised India’s hospitality and thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Concerns Over Russia-Ukraine Conflict
The Delhi Declaration issued at the G20 emphasized regional integrity, sovereignty of nations, international humanitarian law, and the importance of peace and stability. The declaration also stressed the need for a just and sustainable peace in Ukraine in line with the “One Earth, One Family, One Future” sentiment.
Climate Change Concerns
The European Commission urged member countries to set ambitious climate targets for 2030. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, addressing the ‘One Earth’ session, reminded member countries of the looming threat of global warming and the need to limit it to 1.5 degrees.