PM Modi with US President Trump and Japanese PM Abe (source: AFP)

India on Saturday refused to sign to the Osaka declaration — pushed by Japanese PM Abe — on digital economy that was signed by 24 countries and groupings. The declaration aims to push for free flow of data across borders. Joining India were South Africa and Indonesia, who also stepped away form deal.

Seated between US President Trump and Chinese President Xi, Abe highlighted the importance of his “Data Free Flow with Trust” concept — a move led by Japan that calls for the creation of international rules to enable free movement of data across borders.

The issue of data for development was raised by India at the BRICS leaders’ meeting Friday. Data has has become a “major issue” in international policy making, said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

Gokhale said India believes that the discussions and negotiations on the premise of data should be held within the context of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). “Data is a new form of wealth,” the Foreign Secretary said, adding that the WTO is framing international rules on this issue.

The Osaka initiative seeks to standardise rules in global movement of data flows with better protection in personal information, intellectual property and cybersecurity.

Abe said digitally-driven economies can spark innovation and promote economic growth. However, for that, there needs to be a reliable set of rules for the free flow of data.

Trump came in support of Abe’s plan, saying the free flow of data is integral to the American digital economy’s success, along with strong privacy and intellectual property protections, and access to capital and innovation.

“The digital economy is a crucial driver of economic growth. At the same time, as we expand digital trade, we must also ensure the resilience and security of our 5G networks,” Trump said, taking a jibe at Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei. “This is essential to our shared safety and prosperity.”

However, Xi defended China’s policy, saying, “Effective governance should promote collecting, analyzing and applying data, and all of the countries must individually manage data with order.”

Trump halts tariffs on Chinese exports after talks with Xi

Meanwhile, Trump on Saturday said he was open to a potentially “historic” trade deal with China after he held bilateral talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Osaka.

“I actually think that we were very close and … that something happened where it slipped a little bit, and now we’re getting a little bit closer,” Trump told Xi at the start of the meet.

(image: twitter)

“But it would be historic if we could do a fair trade deal. We’re totally open to it, and I know you’re totally open to it,” Trump had said.

After the talks, Trump has reportedly halted new tariffs on Chinese exports after talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi.

PM Modi and President Trump sit down for talks, bring issues on the negotiating table

Earlier, on Friday, PM Modi held a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump, raising the issues related to Iran, 5G, bilateral ties, and defence relationship. The two leaders have decided to bring these issues to the negotiating table, Foreign Secretary Gokhale told.

The bilateral talks between the two leaders slightly surpassed the allotted time with Foreign Secretart Gokhale telling reporters later that both sides “aired their concerns”, and agreed that their trade ministers, or representatives, will meet soon to sort out those issues.

Australian PM Scott Morrison tweets a selfie with PM Modi, says ‘Kithana ache he Modi’

PM Modi on Saturday was seen sharing a selfie with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “Kithana ache he Modi,” tweeted Morrison with a selfie with PM Modi.

PM Modi holds talks with Presidents of Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia.

PM Modi, meanwhile, also met the presidents of Indonesia, Brazil and Turkey on Day 2 of the ongoing G-20 summit. He will be holding around 10 bilateral meetings, including with French President Emmanuel Macron and Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan this week.

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