The G-20 is a strategic multilateral forum connecting the world’s major developed and emerging economies.  It has emerged as a premier platform for international cooperation on important aspects of international economic and financial agenda.  It was founded in the year 1999 in response to several world economic crises.  The G-20 member countries together represent around 90% of the world GDP, 80% of global trade, 2/3 rd of the world’s population and roughly half of the world’s land area.

Indian has been a member of the G-20 group since its inception.  It has been actively involved in the G-20 preparatory process both at the Sherpa’s track and the financial track.  Indian’s participation in G-20 stems from the realization that as a major emerging economy, India has an indispensable stake in the stability of the international economic and financial system. India has worked to maintain the dynamism and credibility of G-20 deliberations for establishing a framework for a strong, sustainable and balanced growth. India assuming the presidency of the G-20 grouping is a milestone in itself.  It has provided India with an opportunity to steer one of the significant multilateral forums at a critical juncture in the global affairs.

Jammu and Kashmir hosting the meeting of G-20 is one of the most significant catch of India’s presidency.  This will be the first major international summit to be held in Jammu and Kashmir after the erstwhile state’s special status guaranteed under article 370 of the Indian constitution was withdrawn and it was divided into two union territories. Preparations in Kashmir to host the G-20 meeting have been on a roll with the administration making advance arrangements by repairing major roads and drainage systems, passing directions for beautification of the already attractive  valley. 

Kashmir is known for its hospitality and tourism.  Tourists from all corners of the world have visited the valley in the past two years and their number is swelling with each day.  The return of peace to the region after abrogation of Article 370 has done wonders.  Encouraged by the footfall of tourists and keen interest of international business houses to invest in J&K, the Government of India decided to hold the G-20 summit in the Union Territory.

Keeping aside the hardships due to uncertainty, the G-20 meeting will play a vital role in attracting global market efficiently for durable sustainable growth trajectory. The G-20 summit brings together leaders from 20 most influential countries of the world; countries who have the potential to boost tourism & handicraft sectors in Kashmir by bringing increased attention and investment in the region.  Additionally, it could also facilitate partnerships and collaborations between the handicrafts producers of Kashmir and the international buyers. The summit would provide local businesses with an opportunity to network with delegates and investors from around the world which can further lead to inflow of investments that have the potential to boost the overall economy.

Peace has opened up J&K to the world.  Foreign investments have already started powering in the region with UAE emerging as a major partner in the development of the region. Initially, Kashmir’s selection as one of the possible venues, that was believed to have diplomatic repercussions is now being hailed as a diplomatic win for India.  By choosing J&K as G-20 summit’s venue, India has indicated that normalcy has returned to the valley and Pakistan sponsored terrorism is on its last legs. Pakistan, though reacted sharply, interestingly the west has not reacted to India’s selection of Kashmir as G-20 venues which could be considered as an acceptance of India’s choice, which would further mean that it no longer considers the region as an issue.  oic nations have also endorsed India’s stand which clearly indicates their acceptance of Kashmir being an integral part of India.            

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