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ERIA Joins Think Tank 20 Inception Conference

13 January 2023

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New Delhi, 13–14 January 2023: Think20 (T20), the official engagement group of the Group of Twenty (G20) that brings together leading think tanks and research centres worldwide, held its Inception Conference on 13-14 January 2023 in New Delhi. The conference was attended by representatives from G20 countries.

Discussed at the 2-day deliberations was the theme of India’s G20 Presidency: Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or One Earth · One Family · One Future, which affirms the value of all life, an apt reflection of the global transformation needed in the post-COVID-19 era.

The conference laid the groundwork for seven task forces: TF1-Macroeconomics, Trade, and Livelihoods: Policy Coherence and International Coordination; TF2-Our Common Digital Future: Affordable, Accessible, and Inclusive Digital Public Infrastructure; TF3-LiFE, Resilience, and Values for Wellbeing; TF4-Refuelling Growth: Clean Energy and Green Transitions; TF5-Purpose and Performance: Reassessing the Global Financial Order; TF6-Accelerating Sustainable Development Goals: Exploring New Pathways to the 2030 Agenda; and TF7-Towards Reformed Multilateralism: Transforming Global Institutions and Frameworks.

Prof Fukunari Kimura, Chief Economist of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA); Dr Venkatachalam Anbumozhi, ERIA’s Director for Research Strategy and Innovations; and Ms Anita Prakash, ERIA’s Policy Advisor to the President on International Economic Cooperations, co-chaired TF1, TF2, and TF3 deliberations, respectively, and presented key ideas from ERIA’s research.

The conference included keynote speeches, spotlight sessions, panel discussions, and breakout sessions for each task force.

Dr Samir Saran, Chair of the T20 India Secretariat and President of the Observer Research Foundation, opened the inaugural event by providing an overview of the Think20’s aims, goals, and functions. He said the most important task of T20 is to generate bold ideas and build a research network to respond to challenges confronting the world, and to promote working together to generate pragmatic policy solutions.

In his keynote speech, G20 India Sherpa Amitabh Kant sought an active role for T20 and emphasised the need to factor in the uncertainties in the macroeconomic environment for inclusive and sustainable growth. He noted that India is well-placed to clarify what the new growth model should be and that T20 has an opportunity and an obligation to present to global leaders aspects of the new growth model.

During the plenary session on Global Financial Order and Macroeconomic Stability, Prof Kimura made a passionate plea to fellow participants to preserve free trade as he emphasised the need to make G20 more effective by working with the Group of Seven (G7) to tackle global economic and social development challenges. Noting the present policy crisis afflicting the world economy, Dr Anbumozhi  emphasised the need to seize opportunities available to the digital economy and to use its potential for sustainable transformation.

The need to achieve a globally coordinated Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was emphasised by Prof Sachin Chaturvedi, Director General of Research Information Systems for Developing Countries and one of the members of the T20 core group and ERIA’s Research Institute Network. He said the world is jaded in an age of global finance, energy, and food crises. He encouraged participants to act on the 2030 SDG agenda.

Summarising the TF3 deliberations, Ms Prakash echoed the group’s priority of life, resilience, and value for wellbeing. She said that creating policy with a wide group of should be at the centre of all conversations.

Closing the event, G20 Sous Sherpa Abhay Thakur said India’s G20 presidency is an opportunity to make the grouping more inclusive and sustainable. Expressing India Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hope at the Bali Summit, he said the G20 presidency should be inclusive, ambitious, action-oriented, and decisive.

T20 is considered as an ‘idea bank’ for the G20 by bringing together think tanks and high-level experts to discuss policy issues relevant to the G20. The seven task force recommendations will be synthesised into policy briefs and presented as a communique to G20 working groups, ministerial meetings, and the final leaders’ summits to be held on 9–10th September 2023 in New Delhi.

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