India can be affected by global financial crisis, developed nations must take responsibility: PM

September 30th, 2008 - 8:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh

By Naveen Kapoor

Paris, Sept.30 (ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister, Dr.Manmohan Singh, today said that developed countries primarily needed to take responsibility for resolving the global financial crisis, but added that India and China, as the world”’’s two largest emerging economies, must take part in the solution.

Stating this during an interview with the prominent French daily Le Figaro, Dr. Singh warned that the crisis could spread to developing countries like India, as “we live in an interdependent world and the fate of all countries is related to the international financial system.”

“If the financial crisis sparks off a recession in the main economies, this will compromise our exports,” he said.

He also sought to differentiate between the negotiation of a free trade agreement with the European Union and the negotiations governing the World Trade Organisation, by referring to the former as “complementary and Doha plus.

When asked how the French nuclear industry could help India”’’s development of its own nuclear capacity, Dr. Singh acknowledged France”’’s key role in obtaining the approval of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), and promised to implement full cooperation in this field within the framework of a long-term global agreement.

As far as trade was concerned, Singh said: “Bilateral trade has increased, but is remains at 6.14 billion Euros, much below potential.

“We (India and France) have decided to double trade by 2012 (12 billion Euros). In order to maintain a nine percent growth per year, India has to undertake major investments to improve its infrastructures which will provide considerable opportunities to French companies especially in the fields of energy, telecommunications, road networks and food processing,” he added.

He also said that India would like to build a real partnership with France in the defence sector, which would include collaboration in research and development, transfer of technologies and joint productions going far beyond a simple buyer-seller relationship.

He also spoke about the situation in Afghanistan, saying that India was not opposed to efforts for reconciliation and dialogue with various political factions in that country, but added that cooperation would not be extended to those aspiring to destroy the idea of a pluralistic and democratic Afghanistan.

On the situation in Pakistan, Dr. Singh said that he had a very good meeting with President Zardari in New York, and he had told him of India”’’s concerns regarding terror attacks launched from across the border. Zardari, he said had told him that he had been President only for a fortnight, and he would take appropriate steps to address the issue.

On the persecution of Christians in India, he said that he had condemned what had happened and personally intervened with the concerned States.

“I deeply regret these incidents, but one should not generalize and draw a conclusion on the fate of minorities in India,” he said.

As far as accelerating commercial negotiations with the EU, the Prime Minister said: “The EU remains, before China, the first commercial partner of India, with 60 billion euros of goods and services exchanged last year but it is only the 9th commercial partner of the EU, behind South Korea.” (ANI)

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