BRISBANE (AUSTRALIA): A breakthrough agreement with the US on food security earlier this week is likely to boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s image at the weekend G20 summit in Australia, where retrieving black money will be high on his agenda.
The deal, which paves the way for a global trade pact at next month’s World Trade Organization (WTO) council meet, drew praise from leaders of leading industrial nations Japan and the UK as well as the European Union during Modi’s meetings with his British and Japanese counterparts, David Cameron and Shinzo Abe, and EU president Herman von Rompuy.
The Indo-US deal is expected to give Modi the leverage to push at the G-20 summit India’s agenda to dig up black money stashed abroad and to step up global cooperation against cross-border tax avoidance and evasion.
Modi had his first meeting here with Cameron, who said relations with India are at the “top of the priorities of UK’s foreign policy”.
But the highlight of the day was his dinner with Abe and the bonhomie between the two leaders who follow each other on Twitter
Modi is expected to use the G20 summit of the world’s biggest developed and emerging economies, to also flag India’s concerns over “jobless growth” prospects.
WTO secretary-general Roberto Azevedo said the resolution of the row between India and the US over food subsidies has breathed new life into the global organization while EU chief Rompuy told Modi the 28-nation bloc was keen on “re-engaging” with India in all areas, especially trade.
Modi got off to a flying start even before the G20 summit began with US president Barack Obama described him “as a man of action” during their meeting on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Myanmar.
The first Indian Prime Minister to visit Australia since Rajiv Gandhi in 1986, Modi’s first engagement on arrival in Brisbane was a visit to the Queensland University of Technology where he wrote on an agricultural robot a message in Gujarati: “Research is the mother of development.” – Excerpt from The Hindustan Times