Anand Sharma cautions against protectionism

January 12th, 2012 - 6:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 12 (IANS) Voicing concern over lack of progress in the Doha round of WTO talks, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Thursday cautioned against protectionism, saying it would only deepen recession.

He called for removing the existing barriers and for more engagement to ensure free flow of goods and services. Addressing the Partnership Summit 2012 here, he said multilateralism was the only way forward.

“A multilateral agreement will be important to address past distortions and will be a major contribution not only to the present of the global economy but also to the future of the world,” he said.

The minister noted that at a time when the global economy is under stress the world is witnessing protectionist trends. “History has taught us protectionism is counter-productive. It can deepen recession,” he said.

Business delegates from 42 countries are attending the summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) with the theme ‘new age innovation partnerships’.

Sharma said multilateralism is what would guide the global changes. “These changes must reflect contemporary global realities have to be part of global order which is changing both political and economic,” he said.

He said while India respects a robust IPR regime, historical imbalances and injustice have to be borne in mind while addressing the challenges of food security, energy security, climate change and health security.

“The knowledge and intellect of the world, those who have must share with those who do not have,” he said

Sharma said countries need to look at new ways of production, of sustainable growth, considering the challenges of climate change, of developing clean and green technologies.

In this context, Sharma pointed out that India has come out with the national manufacturing policy “which would be a game changer and transformative for India in decades to follow”.

The policy is aimed at raising the share of manufacturing in GDP from 16 percent to 26 percent in a decade and create 100 million jobs.

“We are envisaging the creation of national manufacturing and industrial zones which will be standalone integrated industrial townships.”

The government has already announced seven national manufacturing and industrial zones along the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor. The minister claimed it will be the largest infrastructure project conceived anywhere in the world.

“It will embrace 43 percent population of India. We are now looking at the eastern and southern corridors.”

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