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Piyush Goyal Attended Virtual G-20 meeting of Trade and Investment Ministers; India says No to DFFT

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Piyush Goyal participates in the G-20 meeting of Trade and Investment MinistersOn September 22, 2020, the virtual G-20 (Group of Twenty) Trade and Investment Ministers under the Saudi Arabia Presidency was held where India was represented by Union Commerce and Industry & Railways Minister, Piyush Vedprakash Goyal.  The objective of the meet was the further strengthening of G20 trade and investment cooperation.

  • During the meet, Piyush Goyal cleared that India is not in a position to accept the concept of Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT) as there is a need for policy to finalize laws around digital trade and data.

G20 nations agreed to continue cooperation and coordination on following:

  1. Support recovery of international trade and investment
  2. Support the necessary reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) to which the Riyadh Initiative on the Future of the WTO provides political support
  3. Encourage greater international competitiveness of Micro-, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)
  4. Foster economic diversification
  5. Strengthen international investment
  6. Continue to endorse the “G20 Actions to Support World Trade and Investment in Response to COVID-19” 

About Data Free Flow with Trust (DFFT):

The concept of “Data Free Flow with Trust,” was first espoused by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a speech at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2019.

  • After that a major international initiative on data flows, the Osaka Track, was launched under Japan’s G20 leadership in 2019. This paper develops a framework for DFFT by drafting rules on data flows, removal of prohibitions on data localization, and cloud computing among others.

Recent Related News:

i.As a part of Finance Track for the G20 Leaders Summit 2020, which is to be hosted by Saudi Arabia at the end of 2020, the 3rd G20 (Group of Twenty) Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG) meeting was held virtually on July 18, 2020. It was organized under the Saudi Arabian Presidency where Indian side was represented by Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman.

ii.On 22nd July 2020, Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad represented India in the virtual meeting of the G20 Digital Economy Minister under the presidency Saudi Arabia.

About G-20 or Group of Twenty:

Composition– 19 countries and the European Union (EU)

The 19 countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UK, and the US.

2020 Presidency– Saudi Arabia
2020 theme– Realizing Opportunities of the 21st Century For All
Chairman– Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (2020)