Need to look at India's role in handling global challenges

Need to look at India's role in handling global challenges

WEF begins: Sharma for reforming Brettonwood institutions

Need to look at India's role in handling global challenges

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani (left) and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma at the India Economic Summit in Mumbai on Sunday. PTI

Over 800 participants from 40 countries took part in the annual two-day summit, previously held in New Delhi, which will focus on combining economic growth with essential social development.

Addressing the gathering in the morning session here, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma said the Indian economy has been a stabilising force even as the world grapples with economic crisis, adding, “The fulcrum has shifted, when it comes to the economic growth, the emergence of India and other economies is a factor of stability and growth.”

He said the world economy is in recession for five years now and the full recovery is not yet in sight. He said the G-20 as a group has played a key role in ensuring that large scale job losses do not take place across the world. “G-20, today, is an inclusive and representative platform, as the new emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and Russia have been a part of the discussion process,” he said. However, the minister warned against protectionism at a time when the sovereign debt crisis is engulfing some of the fragile European nations. “In difficult times, the tendency is to look inward, to have protective measures, this is something the G-20 must reassure the world that it will not happen.”

Sharma called for completing the ongoing WTO negotiation and correct historical imbalances to make the new economic order more equitable and more accessible.

He also underlined the need for reforming the Brettonwood institutions - IMF and the World Bank. “The new multilateral system must reflect contemporary world realities,” he added. As the Indian economy grows, millions of job opportunities are going to be created in the country, he said, adding, “Making the youth employable by giving them multiple industrial skills is going to be one of the biggest challenges before the country.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said the timing of the India Economic Summit in Mumbai was opportune, just after the G20 Cannes summit, where India has been called upon to play a major role.