The summit has the potential to transform the local economy and entrepreneurial scene in J&K
The Group of Twenty is a leading avenue for global economic cooperation. It plays a vital role in shaping and strengthening the international structure and the governance of almost all economic activities. India holds the presidency of G-20 w.e.f 01 Dec 2022 to 30 Nov 2023. The G20 came into being in 1999, after the financial crisis in Asia, as a platform for Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors to deliberate on global economic and financial issues. The G-20 was upgraded to the Heads of State/Government level in the wake of the global economic and financial crisis of 2007. In 2009, it was assigned as the leading forum for global economic cooperation.
The G-20 summit takes place yearly under the leadership of a rotating Presidency. Initially, this group focused mainly on broad macroeconomic issues. However, it has since enlarged its focus to trade, sustainable development, health, agriculture, energy, environment, climate change, and anti-corruption. The G-20-member nations represent about 85 percent of the worldwide GDP, over 75 percent of the worldwide trade, and about two-thirds of the world population.
The G-20 Presidency coxswains its schedule for one year and conducts the summit. It entails two parallel pathways: The Finance Track and the Sherpa Track. In the course from the Sherpa side, it is synchronised by the ‘Sherpas’ of the member countries, who are personal emissaries of their countries’ leaders. Finance Ministers and the Governors of Central Banks of the member nations lead the ‘Finance Track’. Within the two tracks are thematically focused working groups in which representatives from the concerned ministries of the members, invited/guest countries, and various international organisations participate. Also, there are ‘Engagement Groups’ which blend the support and cooperation of civil societies, parliamentarians, think tanks, women, youth, labour, businesses and researchers of the G20 countries.
As India’s G20 Presidency theme is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, One Earth-One Family-One Future. The theme confirms the value of all life – human, animal, plant, and microbes – and their interaction on the Earth and in the universe. This theme also focuses on LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), with its connected, environmentally sustainable and responsible choices for individual lifestyles and national development, leading to global transformation resulting in a cleaner, greener environment.
The logo and the theme send a powerful message of India’s G-20 Presidency, which is determined for impartial and unbiased development for all in the world as we circumnavigate through these tempestuous times in a supportable, holistic, responsible, and inclusive manner. They represent a uniquely Indian approach during the G-20 Presidency of existing in harmony with the surrounding ecosystem. For India, the G-20 Presidency also scripts the commencement of Amritkaal, the twenty years starting from the 75th anniversary of its independence on 15 Aug 2022, leading up to the centenary of its independence, towards a futuristic, prosperous, inclusive and developed society, distinguished by a human-centric approach at its core.
Kashmir is the crown of India with snow-clad mountains, pine trees, lakes, landscapes, saffron fields and exquisite gardens. It is home to sophisticated cuisine, refined crafts and rich culture. For good reason, it has been called the Switzerland of India. Now it will have an opportunity to achieve its tourism and economic potential. The G20 summit Is a global signal that Kashmir is open for business. It will be a great advertisement for tourism, which was a driver of the Kashmiri economy before troubles broke out in 1989The G20 summit has been a godsend to Kashmir Valley. To spruce for the event, the government is building infrastructure, investing significant sums and training local people. The multiplier effect of the summit is likely to be significant. As the event of 1982 Asian Games converted Delhi into a national engine of growth, and it is hoped the G20 summit will similarly transform Kashmir. The Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) pointed out that this event “will give a massive boost to the economy of the region.” Notably, the G20 Kashmir summit will add to the IMF’s bullishness about the Indian economy.
Businesses and entrepreneurs have paid close attention to the approaching G20 Summit in Jammu & Kashmir, especially those in the regional business and start-up community. There is an obvious sense of excitement and anticipation surrounding the potential opportunities that this event holds for the region’s economic development, with representatives from 20 significant countries in attendance. The G20 Summit offers a special chance for local businesses and start-ups to promote their inventions and goods to a large audience. These business owners will have the opportunity to grow their companies and sell their goods on international marketplaces by connecting with angel investors from other nations. This might result in a sharp rise in economic activity in the area, which would create jobs and have other positive effects on the local populace.
Start-ups and indigenous businesses in Jammu and Kashmir confront numerous difficulties, including limited access to finance, facilities, and other resources. By connecting business owners with possible investors and partners from other nations, the G20 Summit presents a special chance to address some of these issues. This can result in the formation of fresh corporate alliances and collaborative ventures that otherwise would not have been feasible.
The New Delhi government is going to host a total of 215 G-20 meetings at over 55 locations this year, four of which will be focused on promoting the tourism sector. The way in which the G-20 could boost tourism in Kashmir is by promoting the region as a top tourist destination. The summit could showcase the natural beauty, cultural heritage, and unique handicrafts of Kashmir, which could attract more tourists to the region. It could also facilitate partnerships and collaborations between Kashmiri handicraft producers and international buyers. This could lead to increased demand for Kashmiri handicrafts and provide a much-needed boost to the local economy.
Collaboration with the government and facilitating ventures to invest in infrastructure and facilities that support tourism and handicraft production may boost the economy to the brim. This could include investments in transportation, accommodation, and marketing efforts, which could help to attract more visitors and buyers to the region. The G20 Summit offers the administration a chance to highlight the advancements made in Jammu and Kashmir over the previous few years. The government may increase investment and expand growth opportunities by recognizing the area’s economic potential and displaying the cutting-edge goods and services being developed by regional business people. One of the main advantages of the G20 Summit is that it gives local business people an opportunity to network and learn from their counterparts in other nations. For business owners trying to grow their companies and hunt for new prospects, this exchange of knowledge and experience may be priceless. Additionally, the G20 Summit may assist local business owners feel more connected to one another, which may encourage cooperation and creativity in the years to come. It is crucial to remember that the government’s capacity to assist and facilitate local entrepreneurs will play a significant role in the G20 Summit’s success. This entails having access to capital, mentorship, and other tools that can aid these business owners in expanding their enterprises and competing on a global scale. Local business owners won’t be able to fully capitalize on the opportunities provided by the G20 Summit without these tools
Finally, the G20 Summit in J&K has the potential to transform the local economy and entrepreneurial scene. The G20 Summit can assist to unlock the economic potential of the region by giving entrepreneurs a platform to present their innovations and network with possible investors and collaborators from other nations. To fully realize this potential, the government must continue to support and build out the infrastructure for local business owners, ensuring that they have the tools necessary to succeed over the long run and compete in global markets. Further, to fully leverage this opportunity, the government should adopt a multi-pronged strategy that includes creating a business-friendly environment, providing necessary support and infrastructure to local industries and start-ups, and promoting entrepreneurship and innovation. The concerned departments should play a central role in implementing this strategy by providing necessary guidance, and resources, and facilitating access to finance and markets. By working collaboratively with the private sector, the government can drive the economic growth of the region and create job opportunities for the local people. The G20 Summit in Jammu and Kashmir can be a turning point in the region’s industrialization and it is up to the government and private sector to seize this opportunity and make it a success.
Overall, the G-20 summit has the potential to significantly boost tourism and handicrafts in Kashmir, bringing increased attention and investment to the region and helping to revitalize the local economy
Once the G20 summit ends and tourism takes off, it will amplify the earlier-stated multiplier effect and generate jobs. These new jobs will lead to higher consumption. In turn, this will boost business confidence and lead to greater investment. This virtuous cycle will benefit the region, especially its youth. After a long period of trials and tribulations, we Kashmiris are finally hopeful about the future.
The author is a research scholar and can be reached at [email protected]