A G20 tourism meeting is set to be held in Darjeeling during the first week of April next year.
On Thursday, India formally assumed presidency of the G20. In the course of India’s yearlong tenure, nearly 200 meetings attended by the representatives of the bloc will be held across 55 locations in the country. The G20 member nations represent around85 per cent GDP, over 75 percent of global trade and about two-thirds of the world population.
“It has been confirmed to the G20 chief coordinator Harsh Vardhan Shringla and his team that a G20 tourism meeting will take place in Darjeeling from April 3 to 5 next year,” said a source close to Shringla.
Shringla is a former foreign secretary and traces his roots to Darjeeling.
Sources said that the first tourism meeting will be held at Rann of Kutch in Gujarat. The other places where tourism meetings are expected are Srinagar and Goa.
“The tourism meet in Darjeeling would be important for the region with international focus on this hill town,” said a tourism stakeholder.
With India taking over the presidency from Thursday, the first G20 Sherpa Meeting will be held in Udaipur in Rajasthan from 4 to 7 December.
The Sherpa Meeting of the G20 Summit is a preliminary meeting of the government representatives before the main summit.
At the Sherpa Meeting, member nations look into the possibilities of coming up with agreements. The Sherpa Meeting ensures that time and resources needed at the time of negotiations with heads of state at the final summit are minimised.
Amitabh Kant, former CEO of Niti Aayog, is the G20 Sherpa from India.
The main event, the G20 Heads of State and Government Summit, will be held on September 9 and 10 next year in New Delhi, a culmination of all the G20 processes and meetings held throughout the year among ministers, senior officials and civil society representatives.
A briefing for resident heads of mission of the G20 member countries, the invited guest countries and the international organisations was held in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on November 26.
There, Kant and Shringlabriefed the delegates. Apart from the 20 members, the nine countries invited this year are Bangladesh, Egypt, Mauritius, The Netherlands, Nigeria, Oman, Singapore, Spain and the UAE.