As India attempts to unearth black money stashed abroad, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will push for stepping up global cooperation against the key issue of cross border tax avoidance and evasion at the G20 summit starting on Saturday.
He will also undertake a bilateral visit to the Australian capital Canberra for talks with Premier Tony Abbott on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister will also utilise the two-day 9th G20 summit of the world’s biggest developed and emerging economies, to flag India’s concerns over “jobless growth” prospects.
Ahead of the summit, PM Modi felt that focusing on transforming the quality of life of people and not just on issues like the health of the financial markets was necessary for creating employment-generating economic growth.
“A key issue for me would be to highlight the importance of international cooperation against black money,” Modi had said, as he is set to renew the country’s commitment to a global response to deal with cross border tax avoidance and evasion.
Collectively, the G20 economies account for around 85 per cent of the GDP, 80 per cent of world trade and two-thirds of the world population.
Jobs and growth will remain the focus of the G20 summit, despite strenuous lobbying to shift the spotlight to climate change and Ebola.
PM Modi, referring to his four-city Australia visit that covers Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney besides Canberra, had earlier said, “While we have much in common with Australia, our political, strategic and economic relations have been below potential.”
“A closer strategic partnership with Australia will support India’s economic goals; promote our security interests, including maritime security; and, reinforce our efforts to foster a climate of peace and stability in our extended continental and maritime neighbourhood,” he said.
Indian officials said that the prime minister’s trip will be a “landmark visit” and is aimed at “re-engaging” Australia.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott had a telephonic talk with Modi before his departure from India to discuss the agenda for the multilateral meeting and he asked the Indian leader to share, in particular, his vision for accelerating global economic growth and employment generation.
Abbott also sought Modi’s support for Australia’s infrastructure initiatives in the G20.
PM Modi suggested that, in addition to facilitating financial flows for infrastructure financing, there was a need to look at innovative mechanisms for infrastructure development, including research on transforming waste into infrastructure inputs.
On the sidelines of the G20 summit, Modi is due to hold a series of bilateral meetings including with Germany’s Angela Merkel, UK’s David Cameron and France’s Francois Hollande.
PM Modi, who is the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia in 28 years since Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, arrived on a five-day trip to Australia on the second leg of his 10-day three-nation tour.
Modi will travel to Fiji on a day-long visit on November 19 before returning home the next day. He will be the first Indian Premier to visit the south Pacific Island nation after a gap of 33 years, the first being Indira Gandhi in 1981.
The G20 includes 19 individual countries — Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the UK and the US — and the European Union (EU).