KOLKATA: India’s G20 motto of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’ is very apt. It captures the spirit of the world. With its innovations in digital payments, India has done an exemplary work in financial inclusion. Its experiences and innovations in the field need to be followed and learned by governments around the world, said a Geman diplomat during a recent G20 meeting in Kolkata.
Underlining the timing of Indian G20 presidency, Manfred Auster, the Consul General of Germany, said, “The country has taken over the presidency from Indonesia at a crucial time for world development.
Its motto definitely makes sense when we are faced with so many crises ranging from climate change to the Russian war against Ukraine.” He was representing Germany during the first Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion meeting of G20, which was held here from January 9-11.
Great progress Auster emphasised on India’s leadership role in bringing about financial inclusion. “India is a great example of how financial inclusion can work. Over the past 10-odd years, you have made tremendous progress, and are much further advanced when it comes to electronic payments than even Germany,” he said.
Highlighting the contrast between Indian and German economies, he said India’s use of digital payments had enabled financial inclusion of marginalised communities. “In India, you pay everything with Unified Payments Interface (UPI), every small vendor will accept it. But in Germany, we still use quite a lot of cash. Financial inclusion is important as common people, especially women, can participate in the economy,” he said.
He further said, “Bring your experience in this field to the world at large, make the know-how available to other countries, which have not had that opportunity to advance in terms of financial inclusion.” G20 leaders discussed a wide range of issues on digital financial inclusion, remittances and availability of finance for SMEs during the threeday meeting in Kolkata.
Land of opportunities Egypt’s Deputy Minister of Finance for Economic Affairs Sherine ElSharkawy said, “India is an interesting destination, both for tourism because of the different cultures, and also for investments. There is a lot of business, there are a lot of opportunities, especially in the IT sector.”
She said she was “really impressed” with India’s invitation to many countries who were not part of the grouping. “I’m really impressed with how it is dealt with. India has invited many countries not part of G20 to provide their inputs and to listen to the concerns of other countries,” she said.
The Egyptian minister found the events and side events “very useful”. India has been able to organise various discussions around issues of global importance. A lot of efforts have been made to ensure wide participation and exchange of ideas.
“All the working groups that I have attended are very useful and are helping with discussions and ideas back and forth, between the members and non-members. All the topics are very well chosen and very important for the current economic environment,” she added.