G7 summit in Italy: Modi to showcase India as leader of Global South

Fasano (Italy): Buoyed by his re-election as the leader of the world’s largest democracy for a third consecutive term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi heads to Italy to network with the leaders of the world’s wealthiest countries as well as emerging economies at the G7 summit in the Italian resort town Fasano.

The overarching thrust of PM Modi’s participation in the G7 summit in Italy will be to showcase India as a bridge-builder between the North and the South in a world polarised by geopolitical rivalries.

This will be Modi’s sixth G7 summit – a sign of India’s rising global stature and Modi’s global standing as India is not a member of this elite grouping, but has been invited as an outreach partner for the last few years.

Focus on Global South

The G7 summit, to which the leaders of nearly a dozen developing countries have been invited, will be an excellent opportunity to burnish India’s credentials as a leader of the Global South, which was showcased at New Delhi’s successful G20 presidency last year. Many of the key themes of Italy’s G7 presidency such as Africa and Global South link up with important initiatives which were fructified during India’s G20 presidency.

In New Delhi, ahead of the G7 summit, India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra placed PM Modi’s fifth participation at the G7 summit. “It will afford him an opportunity to engage with other world leaders present at the G7 Summit on issues of importance to India, as also to the Global South,” said Mr Kwatra. “At G7 also, we have always brought the issues of Global South to the forefront,” he added.

With the interests of the Global South on the mind, PM Modi’s remarks at the outreach summit of the G7 will focus on a cluster of issues, including artificial intelligence, energy transition, Africa, and the Mediterranean, which impinge on interests of the developing countries.

Spotlight on Africa

On June 14, while addressing an outreach session at the G7 summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will share India’s perspective on enhancing multilateral cooperation to spur Africa’s development and resurgence. PM Modi will showcase India’s multi-faceted development partnership with Africa and how India has promoted African interests in global forums such as G20 and the UN. In his speech, PM Modi will highlight how the African Union became a permanent member of the G20 under India’s G20 presidency at the New Delhi summit in September 2023. In this context, he will also meet the president of Mauritania, which holds the African Union presidency.

Modi-Biden reconnect

The focus of PM Modi’s short visit to Italy will be largely on a series of bilateral meetings he is expected to hold with the leaders of G7 countries as well as  emerging economies. While bilateral meetings are being finalized, the show-stealer will be his first meeting with US President Joe Biden after being re-elected for a third consecutive term. The talks will set the stage for the trajectory of India-US ties for the next six months till the US elections in November 2024. The meeting will focus on accelerating the implementation of key outcomes of Prime Minister Modi’s historic visit to the US in June 2023, which culminated in pathbreaking outcomes in areas of defence co-production and critical technologies. The talks between PM Modi and Biden will also provide direction to the review of the iCET for which US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan will be coming to New Delhi around June 17.

Besides Biden, Modi is expected to meet the leaders of Brazil, Argentina, South Africa and Saudi Arabia on the margins of the G7 summit.

On the geopolitical front, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, the host of the G7 summit in Apulia, has identified key priorities for the current year, which  includes the Russia-Ukraine conflict and peace in the Middle East. These issues will figure prominently in discussions PM Modi will have with the leaders of G7 and outreach countries.

(Manish Chand Editor-in-Chief, India Writes Network and CEO, Centre for Global  India Insights, a think tank focused on global affairs. He is currently in Fasano, Italy to report on and analyse the G7 summit and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Italy).  


Author Profile

Manish Chand
Manish Chand
Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.