By Ashok Kumar
Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India will be the first Prime Minister from India, after 28 years, who will be visiting Australia. He is the first prime minister to represent the people of India after he got the full mandate of the people.
He will be joining President Francois Hollande of France, President Xi Jinping of China, Federal Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom as guest of Australian Government. The visit is coinciding with the G-20 Economic Summit on 15 and 16 November. According to a media release, the Australian Parliament will be reconvened for the formal addresses by the distinguished guests, including Mr. Modi.
Australia is the current chair of the Group of Twenty (G20). The G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation and decision-making, with representation from 19 countries plus the European Union. G20 members meet regularly to discuss ways to strengthen the global economy, reform international financial institutions and improve financial regulation. Australia’s host year began on 1 December 2013 and will culminate in a Leaders’ Summit in Brisbane on 15-16 November 2014.
Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has primary carriage of the G20 development agenda. The Foreign Minister also regularly engages across the broader G20 agenda with her international counterparts, both G20 members and non-members. The Department of Foreign Affairs and TRADE is responsible for G20 Development Working Group meetings in 2014.
Australia’s Trade And Investment Minister Andrew Robb is responsible for steering the G20 trade agenda during Australia’s host year and chaired the G20 Trade Ministers meeting in July in Sydney. Australia has welcomed Turkey’s announcement that it will hold a G20 Trade Ministers meeting during its 2015 G20 presidency.
In 2014, the G20 is moving to address the global growth challenge in an ambitious and meaningful way.
In February, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors committed to developing new measures with the aim of raising the level of G20 output by at least 2 per cent above the currently projected level in the next five years. This will make a significant difference – a boost of over $2 trillion to global GDP with the promise of millions of additional jobs.
The Brisbane Action Plan, to be discussed by leaders in November, will put in place short and medium-term actions to help achieve this growth ambition. To deliver on this ambition, this collective commitment needs to be translated into specific actions by each country.
However, India’s concerns have not yet been announced. It is presumed, Mr. Modi would put forward his economic growth plan of “Make in India” popular here in Australia and would ask the world leaders to take benefit of this project.
It is to be seen what and how Mr. Modi and his team address the global growth challenge at the summit meeting. Mr. Modi has recently been to The US on the invitation of President Barak Obama and the public rallies there have been a great success. Riding high on these rallies, the High Commissioner of India to Australia was assigned to form IACF for the US type reception of Mr. Modi. The preparations are in full swing and the public reception in Sydney are organised at the All Phones arena and before that there would be a reception by the High Commissioner also in Olympic Park.
Chairperson of IACF, Dr. Nihal Agar, recently said while introducing media to the venue, “It is a concerted community effort only because we felt that since Modiji is coming to Australia we should welcome him and let all the community listen to a leader of the country who is a true visionary and a hard working simple man. There is huge interest in people and they want to listen to him, meet him and greet him in person.”
Many community leaders at first objected to the composition of the IACF but gradually relented to be part of the reception committee. It is all set to welcome Mr. Modi with open arms.