Protectionism will worsen slowdown: Anand Sharma


New Delhi : Protectionist measures by the developed economies will have an adverse impact on the downturn, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has said, even as he reaffirmed India’s commitment to the successful conclusion of the Doha Round of trade talks.

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In his address at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial meet in Paris Thursday, Sharma said a rule-based multilateral trading system, which is fair and equitable and addresses aspirations of developing countries, was required with respect to the stalled Doha Round.

He was the lead speaker for the session on “Keeping markets open for trade and investment”, a ministry statement issued here Friday said.

On the sidelines, ministerial counterparts from India, Brazil and South Africa (IBSA) issued a joint declaration saying the needs and aspirations of developing countries must remain forefront of the Doha development round.

The IBSA declaration added it would be unrealistic for the developed world to expect further unilateral concessions from developing countries in the present economic crisis.

Sharma also held discussions with US trade representative Ron Kirk, EU trade commissioner Catherine Ashton, Canadian trade minister Stockwell Day, Japanese minister of economy, trade and industry Toshihiro Nikai, apart from WTO director general Pascal Lamy.

The minister will also be present at the first meeting of India-France CEOs’ Forum along with French minister of economy, industry and employment Christine Lagarde, the statement added.