The city of Osaka in Japan is all set to witness a meeting of the trade ministers from 7 of the world’s most advanced economies – the G7 – this weekend. During this meeting, the G7 trade ministers will convene to brainstorm on making global supply chains more resilient and governments less vulnerable to economic coercion from the likes of China. The meeting is being chaired by Japan.
The ministers are gathering amidst heightened geopolitical tensions caused by conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine and will hold talks with India, Indonesia, Australia, Chile, and Kenya. Due to the ongoing global political unrest, diplomatic relations have been strained as a result of sanctions and trade barriers implemented to safeguard industrial security.
The G7 is an informal group consisting of seven major advanced economies: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The G7 trade ministers meet regularly to address topics such as international trade policies, market access, regulatory cooperation, and the promotion of fair and open trading systems. These discussions can influence global economic policies and have significant implications for international commerce.
During the upcoming forum, a variety of topics will be discussed by the ministers, including measures to address food security, climate change, fair trade rules, economic coercion, and supply chain resiliency. The group plans to issue a statement at the end of the gathering on Sunday.
Countries around the world are still trying to recover from the long-lasting impact of COVID-19. This includes the extreme shortage of semiconductors and medical devices, leading to the rapid adoption of the concept of nearshoring (for other commodities as well). Soon enough, Russia invaded Ukraine which further created food and energy supply bottlenecks, and the crisis in Israel and Gaza threatens to worsen global polarization as the human toll mounts.
Nations have rolled out trade barriers, sanctions, and subsidies to secure their interests with like-minded partners. At the center of those actions are items like chips, which are essential for everything from AI development to weapons making, and critical minerals used in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles.
Meanwhile, as the global economy takes hits from high inflation in the US and Europe and China’s sluggish post-pandemic recovery, global commerce is expected to grow at less than half the pace predicted six months ago, according to the World Trade Organization.
Representing India, the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, and Textiles, Piyush Goyal will attend the G7 Trade Ministers’ Meeting. He will also have bilateral meetings with a few G7 countries, invitee countries, and a few International organizations such as WTO, on the sidelines of the outreach programs.