Sun, 04 Jun 2023

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 24 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday met US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen ahead of the first G20 Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting to be held in Bengaluru, starting Friday.

The two leaders exchanged views on G20 Finance Track priorities under India's G20 presidency.

They also discussed their perspectives on strengthening multilateral development banks (MDBs), global debt vulnerabilities, crypto assets, and health, besides the just energy transition partnership (JETP) and possible takeaways for the two sides.

"Both sides agreed that lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic should not be lost sight of and there is a need for enhancing preparedness for future pandemic type shocks," the Ministry of Finance tweeted.

The second Finance and Central Bank Deputies Meeting under India's G20 Presidency is underway in Bengaluru. The meeting began on Wednesday.

Road to policy for crypto assets, a symposium of digital public infrastructure, and enhancement of cross-border payment arrangements are among the agenda to be discussed on Thursday.

The deputies' meet will be followed by the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting, scheduled to be held between February 24 and 25 in the same city. The meeting will be jointly chaired by Sitharaman and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das.

The meeting will be spread over three sessions, covering issues such as strengthening multilateral development banks to address shared global challenges of the 21st century, financing for resilient, inclusive, and sustainable 'cities of tomorrow', leveraging Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) for advancing financial inclusion and productivity gains, an official release said earlier.

The Union Finance Minister also met her Japanese counterpart Shunichi Suzuki on Thursday, ahead of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meeting.

According to a tweet posted by the official handle of the finance ministry, the ministers exchanged views on priorities under the G20 FinanceTrack 2023.

"Both ministers looked forward to close cooperation between Japan as G7 Presidency and India as G20 Presidency on strengthening of multilateral development banks (MDBs), debt-related issues, financing cities of tomorrow and coordinated policy for crypto assets," the finance ministry said in a tweet.

The Japanese Minister also assured his whole-hearted support to India during the G20 India's Presidency.

The sessions during the FMCBG meeting will also cover issues related to the global economy, global health, and international taxation, and discussions in the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting are intended to provide a clear mandate for the various workstreams of the G20 Finance Track in 2023.

On Thursday, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met her Indonesian counterpart Sri Mulyani Indrawati ahead of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting, in Bengaluru.

Both the ministers exchanged views on topics of global relevance such as debt sustainability, climate finance, health, food and energy security, and the need for greater Global South cooperation.

The phrase "Global South" refers broadly to the regions of Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Oceania.

Union FM Sitharaman highlighted the crucial role of Indonesia as a Troika member and called for support for a successful G20India Presidency in 2023. India assumed the presidency of the G20 on December 1, 2022. India is currently part of the G20 Troika comprising Indonesia, India and Brazil, marking the first time that the troika is consisting of three developing and emerging economies.

FM expressed deep appreciation for the foundational work done during the Indonesian G20 Presidency which India will like to carry forward during its Presidency.

While conveying best wishes, Indonesian Finance Minister congratulated FM on India assuming G20 Presidency and stated that Indonesia would closely work with India and India could count on Indonesia for support on key issues.

Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman met United Kingdom Chancellor of Exchequer Jeremy Hunt on Thursday, ahead of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting, in Bengaluru.

The two ministers had a productive discussion on important global economic issues. They also discussed about the upcoming 12th India-UK Economic and Financial Dialogue in 2023. The two leaders also discussed global debt vulnerabilities and ongoing geopolitical tensions.

On his first visit overseas since taking charge at the UK Treasury, Hunt met with his Indian counterpart, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, and senior business leaders and tech chief executive officers (CEOs) of the country to explore collaboration opportunities.

Before Sitharaman's meeting with Jeremy Hunt, she had met US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Argentina Minister of Economy Sergio Tomas Massa, Japan Finance Minister, Japanese Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Indonesia Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati.

A high-level symposium on digital public infrastructure (DPI) was also held on Thursday at the outset of the first G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting, in Bengaluru.

The symposium saw the participation of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Indonesia FM Sri Mulyani Indrawati, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, Brazil Central Bank Governor Roberto de Oliveira Campos, Bank for International Settlements General Manager Neto Agustin Carstens and the symposium was moderated by Infosys Co-founder Nandan Nilekani.

Sitharaman shared the success of India's Aadhaar-enabled digital public infrastructure such as Unified Payments Interface (UPI), CoWin, Account Aggregator, eKYC in leading the economic transformation and empowerment of billions of people in India.

eKYC, often called paperless KYC, is the process of electronically verifying the customer's credentials.

The high-level symposium on DPI also saw insightful discussions on inclusive growth, resilience and innovation.

Union Finance Minister also met with Spain's Vice President and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calvino.

The Ministers exchanged views on IMFC's and India's G20 Presidency priorities for 2023, and acknowledged the need for Indo-Spanish coordination as India's G20 success is Spain's IMFC success.

Both Ministers recognised the need for collaboration in agri-food innovation in light of the impact of global disruptions on food security. Finanace Minister Sitharaman highlighted India's success with higher efficiency and climate friendly nano-fertilisers.

Sitharaman laid out India's G20 priorities including global coordination on Crypto Assets, addressing LMICs' debt vulnerability, MDB reforms and Green Climate financing. She mentioned India's progress in the Hydrogen Mission, expansion of International Solar Alliance and enhanced grid connectivity across South and South East Asia. Both ministers agreed to support the timely conclusion of 16th GRQ by mid-December 2023 while ensuring thatall countries are benefitted proportionately. (ANI)

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