India to sustain and enhance global engagements: Anand Sharma

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New Delhi, Nov.8 (ANI): Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma addressed a session on "Reinforcing Economic Imperatives: India's Global Engagements" at the 25th India Economic Summit jointly organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry and World Economic Forum in New Delhi.

Speaking at the session, he said that although every country across the world has been affected due to the crisis, resorting to protectionist measures in these challenging times will prove counter productive and will delay the recovery process.

As against the growing tendency of protectionism amongst the countries of the West, India's endeavor is to deepen its trade engagements with the major economic groupings of the world.

Earlier, in the space of two weeks, India had signed two economic agreements, a broad-based trade, services and investment pact with South Korea and a free trade agreement with the ASEAN group of ten countries. The successful ratification of the two agreements preceded India's renewed engagement in the WTO Doha Development Round. The informal ministerial meeting hosted by India shows its commitment to resolve the deadlock in the Doha round of trade negotiations.

Though India's growth has not been affected to the same extent as other economies of the world, yet its exports have suffered a steep decline since last October due to a contraction in demand in the traditional markets. Considering this, the challenge that India faces going forward is to sustain and enhance its global engagements. Therefore, the Ministry of Commerce has aptly followed an enhanced market access and diversification policy for exports in its 2009-14 Foreign Trade policy.

As economic indicators are pointing to a mild recovery, our trade continues to fall, although the steepness of the free fall seems to have been arrested, said Mr Anand Sharma. Whether this turnaround will be durable is to be seen in the coming months.

The Indian economy has undergone a considerable change since economic reforms began in 1991, during which India's integration into the world economy has been very rapid. India's healthy growth story and pro investment climate have helped it attract huge investment inflows, especially since the last decade. Although the previous year has seen significant flight of capital due to the global economic crisis, investment inflows, both direct and portfolio, have seen a robust comeback in 2009.

The economic and financial crisis has also lead to a change in the global political and economic architecture, said Mr Anand Sharma. The G-20, instead of G-8, is better suited to represent the economic realties of the present day world. Thus a rule based, fair and equitable global multilateral trading regime which has development as its core objective is what will benefit the entire world economy, expressed the Minister.

Venu Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Motor Company, India, and President, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), India, while moderating the session said that India has moved forward in its global engagements. He further added that it's recently announced Trade Policy aptly shows its trade facilitative efforts along with fiscal incentives for the labour intensive sectors that have been adversely hit by the crisis.

In his closing remarks, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, thanked Anand Sharma for sharing his enlightening remarks and expressed hope that Doha round will soon get concluded successfully. (ANI)

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