New Delhi, Feb.21 (ANI): Australia envisions India playing a strong contributing role in the Group of Twenty (G-20) Finance Ministers' and Central Bank Governors' deliberations to be held on February 22 and 23 in Sydney.
In a background briefing given to select media here, Australia's High Commissioner to India, Patrick Suckling, said Australia is delighted to be hosting a significant global event in a business scenario where the economies of the United States and Europe are slowly picking up, and added that the Australian Government as the chair, would be focussed on ensuring sustainable global economic growth.
Suckling said he is looking forward to the visit of Indian Finance Minister P. Chidambaram and Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan for the weekend G-20 meeting, as Australia sees both of these individuals as "two very impressive, powerful and experienced economic policy experts" who will ensure that India is a strong contributor to the deliberations.
Suckling further informed that Australia continues to be very keen to work closely with India not only on the G-20 agenda, but also at a bilateral level, with a focus on a partnership of mutual growth.
He said both countries and their respective governments were very encouraged by the level of private sector investment, especially in the infrastructure sector (a trillion dollars each).
Highlighting the fact that global economic growth is still quite subdued, and the outlook for the immediate future is clouded with risks, High Commissioner Suckling and other officials present at the select media interaction said Australia would encourage G-20 members to focus on new approaches to achieve sustainable growth in the years ahead.
As the G-20 chair, Canberra's focus would be on two themes (1) Promoting strong economic growth and employment by empowering the private sector, and (2) Making the global economy more resilient to future shocks, Suckling informed.
The Australian envoy revealed that in the run-up to the G-20 Summit to be held in Brisbane in November this year, Australia's approach would be to have G-20 members producing country-specific growth strategies so as to lift respective individual growth paths, and make a difference to global growth.
As part of this effort, the six sessions of the Sydney meeting would aim for a continuance of G-20 reforms of the global financial system; strengthen tax systems; combat tax base erosion and profit shifting; ensure improved global exchange of tax information; ensure a greater voice for countries reshaping the global economy in governing international financial institutions, ensure that these institutions remain relevant; strengthen energy market resilience; improve global operations of energy markets and fight corruption to curb its corrosive impact.
It was particularly emphasized that national governments needed to do more to achieve full potential collectively to alter the trajectory of economic growth upwards rather than downwards.
Suckling and other Australian High Commission officials also said that another area of focus at the Sydney meeting would be the role of multinational development banks (MDBs), and a need for them to be more innovative in terms of investment infrastructure.
Specifically referring to Australia-India ties, Suckling said that New Delhi has laid out the areas on which it wishes to focus on, and Australia would not be taking on the role of making "prescriptive suggestions" in this regard.
Asked specifically how Australia was assessing its immediate futuristic role in the emerging political scenario in India, given that general elections in April-May 2014 are most likely to throw up a new government, Suckling said Canberra was of the view that there is "significant bipartisan support" for India to continue to pursue the growth and economic reforms path.
He added that broadly there is a consensus on the way forward economically in ties between the two countries, and that there were more areas of convergence and commonalities than areas of divergence.
He concluded by saying that neither Australia nor India is complacent about their bilateral partnership, and added that during his visit to Sydney, Chidambram would be meeting his Australian counterpart Mathias Cormann and captains of Australian industry with the objective of inviting them to invest in India. y Ashok Dixit (ANI)