During the B20 Summit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi issued a warning that a new model of colonialism could arise if countries with significant reserves of critical and rare earth minerals fail to acknowledge them as a global responsibility. Modi addressed the global business community and emphasized the need for equitable distribution and responsible use of these essential minerals.
Modi acknowledged that critical and rare earth minerals are essential for various sectors such as renewable energy, energy storage, telecommunications, defense, and healthcare. He highlighted the fact that these minerals are unevenly distributed around the world, with some countries possessing large quantities while others have none at all.
The Prime Minister cautioned that if countries with abundant reserves of these minerals do not consider their responsible and equitable distribution as a global responsibility, it could lead to a situation resembling a new form of colonialism. He stressed the importance of treating other nations as equal partners in progress rather than merely as markets.
Modi’s statement gains significance in the context of India’s recent membership in the Mineral Security Partnership, a strategic grouping focused on securing critical mineral supply chains. This move reflects India’s commitment to contributing to the global effort to ensure access to essential minerals.
The Prime Minister also highlighted India’s role in building an efficient and trusted global supply chain. He asserted that India has emerged as a significant player in providing a new and reliable supply chain in the wake of disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Modi emphasized the importance of balance between the interests of producers and consumers, both for businesses and nations, to sustain a profitable and resilient market.
Modi touched on India’s progress in poverty reduction, mentioning that over 13.5 crore (135 million) people have escaped multidimensional poverty in the past five years. He referred to this population as the “neo-middle class,” which is driving the country’s growth through increased purchasing power and new aspirations.
Furthermore, he celebrated the success of the Chandrayaan-3 moon mission, which he described as a combination of science and industry. Modi highlighted the contributions of Indian businesses and MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) that provided components for the mission. He praised the mission as a responsible space program that prioritizes sustainability and equality.
The Prime Minister reiterated his vision of an interconnected world where all nations work together for the benefit of humanity. He emphasized the principles of responsibility, acceleration, innovation, sustainability, and equality as crucial elements for building a better future for all.