Suman Bery

India’s goals as President of the G20; future outlook and aspirations

Event discusses how India will build on its G20 motto: 'One earth. One family. One future.'

India’s presidency of the G20 is focusing attention on one of the fastest growing economies in the world today.

According to Oxford’s multi-dimensional poverty index, which includes health and education in addition to income, 415 million people in India escaped poverty between 2005/2006 and 2019/2021. Prime Minister Modi has now set the challenge that India should fully cease to be a developing country by 2047 – 100 years after independence.

In this special event, hosted by Saïd Business School Dean Soumitra Dutta, the economist and academic Shri Suman Bery, Vice-Chair of NITI Aayog, the public-policy think-tank of the Government of India, expands on the country’s outlook and aspirations. They are joined by Visiting Fellow Lord Bilimoria.

They discuss India’s distinctive strengths in an increasingly complex global economy, and the particular challenges of developing in the light of global net zero commitments. Key points include:

  • Rich countries got rich on the back of fossil fuels; the industrial revolution in the West was powered principally by coal. It remains the case that most of today’s cheapest energy sources are also the biggest carbon generators, which presents a challenge to developing countries in the global south. However, India is planning to use new technology as the basis of its resurgence.
  • Public digital platforms (rather than the ‘walled gardens’ of the global technology companies) will be key to this; they are helping the Government to deliver social services and financial services at scale. They are also helping to foster an innovation culture that starts with ‘tinkering labs’ in high schools.
  • Thanks to demographics, for a while India will be the largest proportion of the growth of the world’s professional labour force. But manufacturing remains central strategically: not necessarily because it is part of the traditional journey from an agriculture-based economy, but because it is important for national security.

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India's G20 presidency event