As is now common knowledge, India are the hosts for the G20 this year. Last week, the meeting of G20 state heads in New Delhi concluded and an elaborate 37-page New Delhi Leaders’ Declaration Final Adoption was released. Among all the countries of the world, from South Asia, Bangladesh was chosen as an observer while Nepal was only involved in ministerial meetings earlier this year. Here are five consequences of the G20 summit that should be good news for Nepal.
- India got global attention and is now seen as a facilitator to voice the concerns of the Global South. It pushed for the inclusion of the African Union and has received a lot of appreciation from not only African countries but also the emerging economies. Why is this important for Nepal? Firstly, Nepal will benefit from India’s attempt to play a larger role in the global arena as this would bring attention to the region. Secondly, India will be forced to prove its mettle in its neighborhood to gain credibility as a country capable to take on a larger leadership role.
- Within the agreement itself, the component of the Green Development Pact for a Sustainable Future (p.11) means that there will long term opportunities to harness the hydropower potential for regional markets. Thus, for Nepal, the 10,000 MW deal with India is critical in this regard. Additionally, an emphasis on Implementing Clean, Sustainable, Just, Affordable & Inclusive Energy Transitions (p.13) would mean that the world will be watching how India deals with Nepal and Bhutan on power imports, market access and trade.
- With an emphasis on Delivering on Climate and Sustainable Finance (p.15), more finance will be available for Nepal and South Asia to tackle various problems. This would greatly help in the essential transition to a greener, resilient and inclusive development.
- Over the past decade, India’s biggest achievement has been pushing digital transformation – both digitization and digitalization. There have been may platforms that have been tested and used. The commitment on Technological Transformation and Digital Public Infrastructure (p.22) would mean that there would be efforts to test India’s success in other countries also. Nepal can be part of proof of concept for many of the extensions of India’s success to other parts of the world.
- A week before the G20 meeting, as part of the commitments reflected in the declaration, India announced that the Great People’s Forest of Eastern Himalayas “aims to raise USD 1 billion, plant 1 billion trees and protect and restore 1 million hectares of land while placing the Eastern Himalayan ecosystem – and the 1 billion people from Northeast India, Bhutan, Nepal and Bangladesh who rely on it.” This would be a great regional effort that would greatly help Nepal when implemented.
At Nepal Economic Forum (NEF), we have been propagating inclusive global initiatives and regional programs that proliferate connectivity. As part of this, the Himalayan Future Forum (one of NEF’s incubation centers) is slated to have its first inaugural round table on October 6 in partnership with the National University of Singapore – Institute for South Asian Studies (ISAS). Another one of NEF’s incubation centers, the Center for Digital Transformation (CDT), has been hosting Digital Chautari as part of the World Bank’s Digital Nepal initiative and is also engaged in larger work around financial inclusion. We are hopeful that the commitments made by G20 nations will begin a new paradigm that will benefit countries like Nepal.