In India, G20 finance chiefs set to tackle global challenges like climate change and rising debt

NEW DELHI (AP) — Finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations meeting in India on Monday are poised to address critical global economic challenges, including threats posed by climate change and rising low-income country debt .

Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the two countries were working together to advance the G20 agenda. They spoke after meeting on the sidelines of the summit, a sign of the importance of their countries’ relations at a time of tension with China.

“The world looks to the G20 to make progress on key challenges like climate change and pandemics as part of our work to strengthen the global economy and support developing countries,” Yellen said ahead of the meetings. in Gandhinagar, a city in the west. Indian state of Gujarat.

Sitharaman said a priority for the G20 and India, which is hosting the summit this year, is to strengthen the global development banks and build consensus on “the intractable problems associated with the growing indebtedness of countries in low and middle income”. Yellen added that it was vital to “push for more ambition and specific reforms” when it comes to global development banks.

The two leaders stressed the need to address the debt problems faced by low- and middle-income countries and to improve the multilateral debt restructuring process.

Sri Lanka and Ghana defaulted on their international debts in 2022, about two years after Zambia defaulted. And more than half of all low-income countries face over-indebtedness, undermining their long-term ability to function and grow.

The meetings of the Minister of Finance and the governors of the central banks will end on Tuesday.

A meeting of G20 finance chiefs in India’s tech hub of Bengaluru in February ended without a consensus, with Russia and China objecting to depicting the war in Ukraine in an outcome document.

Yellen is back in India for the third time in nine months, this time shortly after a trip to Beijing. She reiterated on Monday the deepening ties between the two countries and said that “the United States and India are among the closest partners in the world.”

India’s longstanding relationship with Russia is also looming as the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine continues despite efforts by the United States and allied countries to sanction and economically bludgeon the Russian economy. India has not taken part in efforts to punish Russia and maintains energy trade with that country despite a cap on Russian oil prices approved by the Group of Seven, which has had some success in the downturn in the Russian economy.

Despite this, the United States strengthened its ties with India and courted its leaders. President Joe Biden hosted a state visit to the White House in honor of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in June, intended to highlight and foster their partnership. The two leaders said US-India relations had never been stronger and launched new trade deals between the nations.

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