As the host of the G20 summit, India has found itself in an interesting position by replacing China as the world’s most populous country and riding high on a solid economic outlook. Moreover, the country is about to welcome the world’s largest finance titans in Bengaluru in a matter of days, and it is using its new platform as a G20 host to introduce changes and new ideas to global financial leaders.
In fact, the country intends to challenge the traditional global order by first challenging some of the decades-old norms championed by the Western powers — primarily the US. Its first step towards doing this was to nominate itself as the leader of the Global South. This term encompasses an entire group of developing nations, most of which are located in the Southern Hemisphere below the Equator, who are not satisfied with the amount of gravitas the current world-order affords them. With rising stock markets and growing economies, these nations may be gaining the strength and interest to have a stronger say in the global economy as a whole.
These nations argue that they deserve a greater say when it comes to international matters and, at the moment, there are seven economies that are part of both the G20 and Global South. While India is one of them, other members include China itself, Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, Argentina and Saudi Arabia.
As can be seen in its foreign policy moves, India believes that it is the opportune time to make this move as its leverage is benefiting from a sharp rise due to recent events. At the moment, its population numbers 1.4 billion people, recently surpassing China as the world’s populous nation. Also, as implied previously, the recent hard times that have brought the global economy to a very unfavorable position have allowed India to stand out with its solid economic outlook as can be seen its its strong stock market growth in comparison to other markets globally.
The nation now seeks to attract more multinational companies and their production to its nation, and the gatherings in Bengaluru, its tech capital, will be one of the biggest early steps in achieving this goal.
It is also worth noting that China will loom large in the background while India makes its push. The country has a strong position in the Global South as well as solid relationships with other members of the developing nation cohort of the Global South.
Most of this can be attributed to its debt financing and Belt-and-Road initiative. In fact, the debt issues will likely be one of the main topics on the agenda during the G20 meetings. China has also seen a significant acceleration of its economic activity in February 2023, following the end of the Lunar New Year break, which has seen many of its employees return to work.
This also led to a congestion in major cities, which was described as the worst since at least the start of 2022. The country has also seen pre-pandemic levels of people riding the subway in a number of major cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Chongqing.