Washington: India Thursday took over the Presidency of the G-24 group of 24 developing countries after a gap of 28 years and said it would use the multilateral platform to build stronger South-South cooperation.”G-24 has an important role to play in fostering dialogue amongst developing countries and in supporting a more inclusive approach in global economic and financial cooperation,” Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said after taking over the Presidency here.

The last time India held the Presidency of the group was in 1983-84. Interestingly, Pranab Mukherjee was the Finance Minister at the time and thus chaired the G-24.

Mukherjee said the world economy has undergone a massive structural change during the last three decades and accordingly, the role of G-24 has changed.

'The role of developing countries which had stalled for many years is now experiencing a major and fundamental rise. The global economy has become much more interconnected and with it we are facing the need for much better coordinated and concerted actions,' he said.    

Mukherjee took over the Presidency of the group from South African Finance Minister Pravin J Gordhan. Egypt has been elected the Vice Chair of the group.  

Members of G-24 group are spread equally over Asia, Africa and Latin America. From the Asian region, the members include Iran, Lebanon, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Syria.

There are eight members each from Africa and Latin America.

Established in 1971, the group is tasked with coordinating the position of developing countries on monetary and development issues, particularly issues on the agendas of the IMF and the World Bank. The group was formed to balance the influence of the G-10 economic grouping.

Mukherjee said he would use the G-24 platform to further strengthen South-South cooperation.

“I believe that many of our countries possess extremely good practices that can be studied and emulated in others. Let us use the platform of G-24 to build stronger South-South cooperation links for our people's common benefit,” he said.

(Agencies)