Second G20 TIWG Meeting Concludes In Bengaluru

MAY 25, 2023

The second  G20 Trade and Investment Working Group (TIWG) Meeting  concluded in Bengaluru today  a  collaborative roadmap to make global trade inclusive and progressive Bengaluru. Deliberations during the conference included WTO Reforms, the 5th Priority Issue under India’s G20 Presidency. Discussions also revolved around the agreed conclusions from the 1st TIWG meeting held in Mumbai early this year. 

Briefing media persons Shri Sunil Barthwal, Secretary, Department of Commerce said that the Indian Presidency recognizes the critical role of WTO in promoting economic growth and sustainable development. He added that the purpose of this working group meeting is to collaboratively work towards transparent, inclusive and development-oriented reforms that safeguard the interests of all members, particularly those of developing and least developed countries.

Continuing the discussions from the first  TIWG meeting held in Mumbai, five technical sessions were  organized during the three-day event. These included High-Level Principles of Digitalization of Trade Documents ; Action Plan to Create Meta Information Portal for MSMEs; Framework for Mapping GVCs; Compendium of Best Practices on Mutual Recognition Agreements and G20 Regulatory Dialogue. 

On High-Level Principles on Digitalization of Trade Documents, a joint presentation on bringing forth the potential benefit of paperless systems was made by the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, UNESCAP and OECD.

Shri Barthwal informed that the G20 members, invitee countries and international organizations broadly agreed on some of these benefits that included cost reduction, increased efficiency and improved transparency. Several member countries also extended their support for framing principles to accelerate transition towards paperless trade. 

He noted that the G20 members collectively recognized the challenges faced by MSMEs across member countries with respect to access to information. An action plan will be  put in place to create Meta Information Portal for MSMEs following the joint presentation made by ICRIER and International Trade Centre (ITC). Many countries supported India’s initiatives  to address this challenge.

The Indian Presidency also noted the concerns expressed by some members on the possible duplicity with existing initiatives like ITC Global Trade Helpdesk. During the deliberations, the Indian Presidency shared the view that  it will clearly demarcate the value addition offered by G20 members. Besides, there emerged  a broad consensus that G20 offers a remarkable opportunity for accelerating the integration of MSMEs in global trade by addressing information asymmetry faced by them. 

The G20 members appreciated a presentation on India’s efforts towards developing the mapping framework for GVCs, made by the Indian School of Business.   The Indian Presidency noted the concerns expressed by some members regarding the technical challenges and data security issues. 

Delegates collectively agreed that G20 offers a meaningful platform for improving the resilience of GVCs in the face of disruptions and future pandemics. 

The Institute of Economic Growth opened the discussions with the member countries, broadly expressing their willingness to share experiences and best practices on MRAs in professional services. Some members also added that the compendium on MRAs should be extended to broader service areas and must be called for greater cooperation in developing the compendium. The deliberations highlighted that such a compendium on MRAs can be beneficial for the sensitization of professional bodies in various countries towards the ongoing development in MRAs.

Member countries acknowledged the benefits of having a regular dialogue and exchange of information on regulations that impact various areas of trade and investment. The Indian Presidency also assured that all the efforts would be made to make this dialogue focussed on the most critical regulatory challenges that impact international trade and investment environment. 

The 3rd TIWG meeting will take place in Kevadia, Gujarat from 10th to 12th July this year.   The Indian Presidency is hopeful to develop a promising outcome in the  areas already discussed with the support of all G20  member countries and stakeholders.  This aim resonates well with India’s Presidency theme of  "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam". 

Over 75 delegates from G20 member countries, invitee countries, regional groupings and international organizations participated in the conference.