India to intensify global trade engagement:Sharma

India to intensify global trade engagement:Sharma

"We shall see to it that in the global context our economic engagement is intensified as it is expected of a country of India's profile," Sharma said in his first interaction with reporters after being appointed as the Commerce and Industry Minister.

Sharma, who was Minister of State for External Affairs in the previous UPA Government, said he would benefit from his earlier assignment.

"I will benefit from my earlier experiences, particularly from the External Affairs Ministry," he said adding economic diplomacy was a part of the global engagement.

Sharma, 56, thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi for "reposing trust and confidence in me".

He said he was taking a "challenging responsibility". Sharma is taking charge of the trade ministry at a time when India's exports have suffered a severe setback due to the global downturn.

Also, the economy is growing at a much slower pace. For 2008-09, the GDP growth dropped to 6.7 per cent against nine per cent in the previous fiscal.