Reach out to poor nations to keep free trade alive: Omanese minister


Chennai: Rich nations should reach out to the least developed countries (LDCs) not able to match them in offering bailouts to their industries languishing due to the global financial crisis, Omanese Minister of Commerce and Industry Maqbool Ali Sultan said Saturday.

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“The five major steps that would help LDCs are completion of the Doha Round negotiations by the end of this year, providing duty free and quota free market access, ensure access to trade finance, provision of trade aid to held LDC to build their capacities and increasing trade and investment between developing countries by reducing trade barriers,” he said, at the 16th edition of the Partnership Summit, organised by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“On their part, LDCs instead of preparing and presenting a charter of demands on developed countries they should focus on areas that would increase trade like cutting red tape for exporters, using aid for trade and other financial assistance to improve infrastructure (roads, ports, telecom and others) and be aggressive in promoting trade.”

He said the three advanced developing nations – Brazil, India, Russia and China (BRIC)- will be the new centres offering growth opportunity for global business.

Though industries and information technology (IT) sectors drive the economic growth of developing countries, Dave Ramaswamy, partner in Argentina-based Allied Venture said that those countries that produce food in large quantities will prosper.

“South America will be the agriculture outsourcer for the world owing to its large tracts of fertile soil, lesser population and the absence of restrictive government policies,” he said.

Citing the erratic monsoon and rapid industrialisation as the reasons for fast shrinkage of farm lands in developing countries, he said the emerging economies will become importers of food.

Those who have invested in agriculture in South American soil will be harvesting handsome returns, Ramaswmay added.