Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Japan on Thursday to attend the G20 Summit to engage in multilateral discussions with world leaders such as US President Donald Trump and Chinese Prime Minister Xi Jinping.
This will be PM Modi’s sixth time at the G20 Summit which will take place in Osaka on June 28-29.
The summit would mark PM Modi’s first time meeting President Donald Trump since his re-election in May. Modi is also expected to hold 10 bilateral talks on the sidelines with global leaders including Japanese PM Shinzo Abe, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and French President Emmanuel Macron.
In his departure statement, the Prime Minister said the summit will be a stepping stone for India towards hosting the G20 summit in 2022 "when we usher in a New India in the 75th anniversary year of our independence".
Issues such as the return of fugitive economic offenders, terrorism, portable social security schemes, disaster-resilient infrastructure and food security will also be raised by India at the multilateral summit.
The group comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) and focuses on increasing international financial stability by addressing key issues of the global economy.
Modi and Trump: Growing US-India tensions
Modi’s meeting with Trump will raise the crucial issue of the US-India trade war, as President Trump tweeted today that he looks forward to speak with PM Modi about the ‘’unacceptable” retaliatory tariffs imposed by India on US products.
Earlier this month, India announced a hike in customs duties on as many as 28 US in retaliation to higher duties imposed by the US on Indian products including steel and aluminium. These actions by the US are expected to affect 10 percent of Indian exports to the US, costing India $190 million in tariffs.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo arrived in New Delhi this week to meet PM Modi and foreign minister S Jaishankar and admitted that the US and India share differences on the subject of trade. However, he also added that “great friends are bound to have differences”.
The United States’ opposition against India’s $5 billion defense deal with Russia for the S-400 air defense systems is another growing point of tension between the two nations that are likely to be discussed in these talks.
Stricter regulations by the US on the H1-B immigrant visa as well as oil imports from Iran are other concerns that may be brought when the two global leaders meet.
Talks on the sidelines: bilaterals, trilaterals, and multilaterals
In addition to bilateral talks with Japan, Russia, US, France and Turkey among others, Prime Minister Modi will also attend various multilateral discussions.
In his departure statement, PM Modi said that he will host the next Russia-India-China (RIC) Informal Summit on the sidelines.
Additionally, he is also expected to participate in the informal meetings of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) leaders along with the JAI (Japan-America-India) trilaterals.
First Published: IST