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PM Lee to attend G-20 Summit in India

NEW DELHI – Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will attend the Group of 20 (G-20) summit in New Delhi from Friday to Sunday, where he will take part in discussions on world issues such as sustainable development, climate change and food security.

He will attend the annual forum at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on behalf of India, which holds the rotating G-20 presidency for 2023.

PM Lee will participate in discussions on the importance of rules-based multilateralism, digital public infrastructure, health, energy transitions and sustainable development at the gathering themed “One Earth, One Family, One Future”.

Analysts have predicted that divided opinion over Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as India-China border tensions, will overshadow the summit and make it difficult for the G-20 leaders to reach a consensus declaration.

Neither Chinese President Xi Jinping nor his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin will be in attendance.

Founded in 1999 as a forum to address economic challenges, the G-20 comprises 19 major and emerging economies and the European Union, which together make up about 85 per cent of global gross domestic product and two-thirds of the world’s population.

It seeks to find solutions to some of the world’s pressing problems, such as high inflation and economic turbulence in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, and funding for developed countries to meet their clean energy targets.

Singapore is not a member of the G-20 but is regularly invited to take part in its meetings.

The Republic is the convener of the Global Governance Group, an informal grouping of 30 small- and medium-sized members of the United Nations.

World leaders who are expected to be in New Delhi include United States President Joe Biden, Chinese Premier Li Qiang and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will head the Russian delegation in place of Mr Putin.

Other leaders slated to attend are British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Mr Modi is expected to push efforts for the 55-member African Union to join as the 21st permanent member of the grouping on a par with the EU, with sources quoted by Bloomberg saying the move will be approved at the summit.

The African Union is currently regarded by the G-20 as an “invited international organisation”.

PM Lee will hold bilateral meetings with other leaders on the sidelines of the summit.

He will be accompanied by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Indranee Rajah, who is also Second Minister for Finance and National Development, and senior officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

During his absence, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong will be Acting Prime Minister.

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