'Indian economy least influenced by protectionism'

Jaitley says India had wasted many opportunities in the past

'Indian economy least influenced by protectionism'

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said that Indian economy was “least influenced” by “voices of protectionism” and the government would continue to open it up further.

“Normally, it is the least developed and developing economies which have a tendency to cry for protectionism and that is a voice that’s almost not heard in India,” Jaitley said, while speaking at the India-UK Tech Summit in New Delhi.

Jaitley said that India had wasted many opportunities in the past, but the “aspirational” would not waste another now.

Finance Minister’s remark came after British Secretary of State for International Trade Liam Fox sought closer cooperation between the UK and India to end protectionism.

“It is important that we together challenge the protectionist sentiments that have been gaining traction across the world to remove those barriers that inhibit free and open trade, and to champion to see export and spread prosperity,” Fox said at the India-UK Tech Summit here.

The UK Secretary of State for International Trade made the comment a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi was nudged by British Prime Minister Theresa May to bring down the barriers to boost bilateral trade.

“We are natural partner for India and ready to help you, skill your workforce and grow your economy, boost bilateral trade and investment and cooperate on science and education,” said Fox.

Fox is visiting New Delhi alongside May, who chose India as her first foreign destination outside Europe after taking over as Prime Minister of the UK in July. The high-level visit from London signalled the UK’s keenness to forge deeper trade ties with India as it is now set to exit the European Union.

“As Britain turns to face the world, our cherished relationship with India will become more important than ever before,” said Fox.

“If we look at the areas where we have growth potential, I think one obvious area is manufacturing. The share of manufacturing has to increase from the present 15% to 25% level and that’s where we will realise we are creating far more jobs and expanding far better,” said Jaitley.

 

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