PM opposes protectionist measures in industrialised nations

Last Updated 30 October 2010, 11:48 IST

Speaking at the East Asia summit, the Prime Minister also sought reduction of the existing trade barriers.

"Thanks to the collective efforts of G20, the world economy has gradually stabilised even though the recovery remains fragile," Singh told a gathering of the 16-nation grouping that was also joined by the US and Russia.

He said for allowing greater growth in the developing world, there was a strong need to resist protectionist measures in industrialised nations.

"Growth in developing countries would be greatly helped if threats of new protectionist measures in industrialised countries are firmly resisted, and existing barriers to trade are reduced. Towards this end, a successful completion of the Doha development round of trade negotiations is important," he said.

Singh's comments came at a time when measures like the hike in the fee for H-1B and L-1 visas, apart from initiatives in some US states to discourage outsourcing, have raised concerns in India.

Singh also welcomed the progress made on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) for East Asia.

"Till last year we had signed CEPA agreement with Singapore and South Korea and trade in goods agreement with ASEAN," he said.

Singh underlined that the world was witnessing an economic shift towards Asia, which has successfully endured the global downturn.

"The economic weight is shifting in favour of Asia and it is seen as an engine of global growth. It has weathered the global economic crisis," the Prime Minister said.

US and Russia were inducted into the grouping today, a development welcomed by Singh, who said EAS will benefit from their experience.

On the forthcoming G20 summit in Seoul, the Prime Minister said it should focus on development.

"I am happy that development has been included as an item for discussion," he said.
The Prime Minister earlier told the ASEAN summit that India is expected to achieve a growth rate of 8.5 per cent during the current year and in the coming years, "we hope to sustain a growth rate of 9-10 per cent per year which will offer many opportunities for trade and investment."

(Published 30 October 2010, 11:48 IST)

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