India approaches the Pittsburgh summit with a “sense of confidence”, said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a statement on the eve of his departure for the G20 summit.
The statement cited resilient domestic demand, high savings rate and improving external capital flows for India’s state of affairs.
The Pittsburgh summit, said the statement, “is expected to focus on medium and long-term issues” unlike the previous London summit where interest had been on pouring liquidity in a system still seen to be in crisis.
The London summit was held in the middle of the economic crisis and this one is coming at a time when there is a feeling that the worst is over.
The G-20 is a group of 19 industrialised and developing countries — the 20th is the European Union represented by the country holding the rotational presidency of the European Central Bank — started in 1999 to discuss global economic issues.
The need was now for a recovery “that is coordinated, sustainable and enduring”.
The statement listed a number of key Indian interests:
Strengthening the international financial regulatory system to ensure “the earliest possible return to trend growth and stabilisation of the banking and financial sectors” in the West.
Reforming the mandate mission and governance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by increasing the “capital base” of such organisations to finance “infrastructure” in emerging economies
Strengthening support for an open global economy with a specific demand for a strong statement against protectionism “in all its forms”.
Increasing the voice of “underrepresented nations” in such bodies as the financial stability forum and the Basel committee (a forum of representatives from 27 countries — including India — to discuss supervision of banking).
The statement said: “It is necessary for India to engage in the management of the world economy because we have a lot at stake and a lot to contribute.”
Singh did not specifically mention any bilateral meetings other than one with the new Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.