Trade, investment offers important route to sustainable global economic recovery: Ansari

Monday, October 4, 2010

BRUSSELS - The Vice President, Mohammad Hamid Ansari, said on Monday that international trade and investment offers an important route forward towards non-inflationary and sustainable global economic recovery.

Speaking at the Eighth Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit here, the Vice President Ansari said, ” Today, we are faced with a new challenge - how to ensure global growth amidst debt sustainability concerns, especially in some of the Eurozone countries.”

“Fragile economic recovery and weak private demand in developed economies has meant that while dealing with such sovereign debt problems we must give utmost priority to fiscal consolidation,” said Ansari and added: Yet, a cookie-cutter would not work and a differentiated strategy would need to be crafted to take into account the special circumstances of each country.”

The Vice President said, “International trade and investment thus offers an important route forward towards non-inflationary and sustainable global economic recovery.”

Stating that the developing economies are focusing on increasing domestic demand, especially through enhanced infrastructure investment, Ansari said, “We, therefore, need to facilitate for this purpose enhanced multilateral and private capital flows to developing economies.”

Drawing attention to recent OECD-WTO-UNCTAD Report on G-20 Trade and Investment Measures, Ansari said, that it has noted that the potential for non-transparent and discriminatory application of emergency measures remains a serious challenge. “It highlighted the need for governments to be vigilant in opposing protectionism, and devise and publicly announce exit strategies from emergency trade restrictive measures, to ward off protectionist pressures seeking to make them permanent,” he further informed.

The OECD, World Trade Organisation and the UN’s Conference of Trade and Development had recently called on the leaders of the G20 countries to make a stronger commitment to open trade and investment as the global economy begins its recovery from the crisis.

Ansari said, “Neither sustainable global economic recovery nor growth in developing economies would be possible, if the new non-traditional methods of protection continued as part of stimulus and emergency support measures, mainly in the developed economies, for extended periods of time.”e said the fact that some of these measures are focused on services and manufacturing sectors where developing economies tend to have a comparative advantage, adds to the problem.

“Needless to say, we believe a Development Round would be a impetus to the global economy,” Ansari stated.

Giving an example of the Indian economy, Ansari said, “We have had a real GDP growth of 8.8 per cent that was broad-based for the first quarter of 201,0-11, Yet, this is lower than the average level of growth experienced earlier.”

“We are gradually reversing the fiscal stimulus and propose to halve the fiscal deficit by 2013-14. Our approach is thus in step with the overarching theme of ASEM B which is “Achieving greater well being and more dignity for all citizens”, Ansari stated.

“We are focused on an inclusive growth and development process that seeks to encompass all geographic and demographic segments, especially those who are marginalized, and we look forward to working in close consultation with our partners in ASEM,” said Ansari. By Mrityunjay Singh (ANI)

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