Sharma calls for trade protectionism among the G-20 members

Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma

Commerce and Industry Minister, Anand Sharma

Commerce and industry minister, Anand Sharma on Sunday called for a greater involvement among the G-20 members, to make sure that free trade is not in an inferior position and the world does not fall back into the trade protectionism. “In difficult times, the tendency to look inwards, to have protective values (increases and), that is something the G-20 must restore confidence of the world that we will not allow that to happen,” Sharma said.

“The need is to appoint more, not going in for protectionism, because that had happened since the 2008-09 (crisis),” he said, while speaking at the first day of the Indian summit of the World Economic Forum in Mumbai.

He has noted thatIndia, as a major budding economy, could play a stabilizing role during the troubled global times. Sharma said that the world needs to move faster on multilateral trading systems by completing the stalled WTO conference early, and thus correct the historical imbalances, which would help make the world and global trade more equitable and more reachable.

Noting that G-20 is a much more all-encompassing and representative platform today, Sharma pointed out that earlier, the larger issues of the vast majority of world housing  over 85 percent of the world’s population was not represented in this body.

“It was a slanted body which had sustained since the Second World War up to the first decade of this century,” he said, adding but time has come for the new and emerging nations like China, India, Brazil and South Africa to be made part of the process.

Sharma articulated hope that the country will be able to sustain the higher growth flight despite the ongoing global crisis, but counseled that the country needs to be more careful as it is part of a highly inter-connected world.

On the EU crisis, the minister said, “We wish these countries which are passing through a tumultuous phase, the discussions at the g-20 meet in Cannes, particularly, on the EU stability fund succeed so that these countries can return to growth path.” Calling for more harmonized efforts by the G-20, he said the grouping of the world’s largest economies needs to do more.

“The multilateral system must reflect fashionable world realities, cosmetic changes will not affect particularly in the economic and monetary institutions (like) IMF and World Bank. We need faster reforms so that the countries which are factors of growth and stability are there,” Sharma said.

On the deterioration Euro zone crisis, he recalled what Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh said inCanneslast week thatNew Delhiwould be part of the stabilization process that is needed for the Euro zone. “But we have to mindful again of the fact that after one sub-prime mortgage crisis, there is another sub-prime crisis confronts the world – that is of the monarch debt issues.”

On the very poor showing by the IIP data in September, Sharma has described that the 1.9 percent growth in industrial unit output numbers was a matter of concern and said that he has asked for a review convention on Tuesday.

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