Prime Minister Narendra Modi was received with a hug by his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe’s as he landed in Osaka this morning for the two-day G20 summit that begins. The two leaders also held a bilateral summit, discussing a range of subjects – including the bullet train project and fugitive economic offenders. On the sidelines of the summit, PM Modi has expected to hold bilateral meet, 10 world leaders. The most-watched of these will be the one with US President Donald Trump in view of the multiple disagreements between the two nations, including trade tariffs and an arms deal with Russia.
10 updates from PM Modi’s visit to Japan for the G20 summit:
PM Modi’s meeting with Shinzo Abe was ‘warm’ and the two leaders had a “very constructive and detailed discussion” on the bilateral relationship, said foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale. “Abe initially began a discussion with his expectation from the G20 Summit. They spoke about the importance of focussing on the global economy,” he added.
Mr Abe, he said, referred specifically to PM Modi’s initiative in earlier G20 meetings on the issue of fugitive economic offenders and said that the G20 nations should deal with this as part of anti-corruption steps.
Outlining his government’s goals later at a gathering of the Indian community in Kobe, PM Modi said: “Over the next five years, we want to make India a 5 trillion dollar economy… 50,000 start-ups in 5 years are the goal. Digital literacy is increasing and digital transactions are at a record high”.
Over the next two days, PM Modi will attend Japan-America-India (JAI) trilateral and the Russia-India-China (RIC) meet and a meeting of BRICS leaders.
The trilateral meet is part of US efforts to bring together countries wary of China’s increasing economic and military might in Asia. There, however, has been no efforts at any formal collaboration.
But it is PM Modi’s bilateral meet with US President Donald Trump that’s expected to be crucial as the two nations look for a breakthrough in the trade dispute. New Delhi had slapped a tariff on 28 US products earlier this month after Washington withdrew the long-standing trade concessions for India on June 1.
President Trump said India’s imposition of retaliatory tariffs was “unacceptable” and must be withdrawn. “I look forward to speaking with Prime Minister Modi about the fact that India, for years having put very high Tariffs against the United States, just recently increased the Tariffs even further. This is unacceptable and the Tariffs must be withdrawn!” the tweet read.
Reacting to Mr Trump’s call to withdraw what he said were very high tariffs, government sources told news agency Reuters that India’s tariffs are not that high compared to other developing countries.
Before flying to Japan, the Prime Minister said the two-day Osaka summit will also be an important stepping stone for India towards hosting the G20 summit in 2022, “when we usher in a New India in the 75th anniversary year of our Independence”.
The G20 is the international financial forum of 19 nations and the European Union that focuses on pressing financial and economic issues.
The Correspondent Bureau with inputs from agencies