Narendra Modi welcomes the world’s biggest economies to Delhi today with plenty to smile about as long as no one mentions Russia, Xi Jinping’s non-appearance, Muslims’ rights or gender-based violence. They probably will – Rishi Sunak’s staff say he will “encourage” Modi to get off the fence on Russia’s war on Ukraine – but the host of the G20 is riding high as an engine of the growth on which his guests depend. India’s annualised Q2 GDP growth of 7.8 per cent puts it on track to deliver 15 per cent of global growth this year, behind only China at 35 per cent but ahead of the entire western hemisphere (at 14). Trade, construction and especially financial services (growing at more than 12 per cent year-on-year) are India’s strongest sectors. The most striking contrast is with Germany, struggling with zero growth, slumping car production (down 9 per cent in July) and falling investment as big industrial groups move production abroad in search of more welcoming tax regimes. American subsidies under the Inflation Reduction Act are proving especially attractive. Sunak may feel vindicated in his view that India and not Europe is where to find growth, but he should remember India has been mainlining cheap Russian oil for the past 18 months without a flicker of remorse.
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