Manmohan Singh warns of resurgence of protectionist sentiments
12 Nov 2010
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today warned the global community about the ''resurgence of protectionist sentiments in the world'' in the wake of recessionary trends.
Addressing the plenary session of the G20 summit in Seoul, Singh said the only way to ensure that protectionism does not gain the upper hand is to restore the momentum of trade talks. He urged the leaders – who included US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao, British premier David Cameron, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel – to ''lend their weight'' in helping complete the Doha round of trade talks.
The successful conclusion of the Doha round is expected to boost international trade by nearly $200 billion. While the US and other developed countries are seeking more access to their products in the developing world, India and other emerging nations are reluctant to open up their agricultural markets.
Referring to the Indian economy, Singh said he was confident the country would regain its pre-crisis economic growth rate of nine per cent next year. ''I am happy to say that the Indian economy has rebounded fairly well from the crisis,'' noted Singh. ''We hope to ''achieve nine per cent growth in 2011-12. We grew at nine per cent in the four years prior to the crisis, but slowed down to 6.7 per cent in the 2008-09.''
Dr Singh said India's growth rate in the current fiscal was expected to be around 8.5 per cent, up from 7.4 per cent in 2009-10.
Focussing on the problems confronting the developed world, he said high unemployment in the industrialised countries threatened a revival of protectionist sentiment, ''especially since the use of conventional monetary and fiscal tools to revive the economy has been exhausted. Uncertainty about the prospects of industrialised countries affects the investment climate and dampens the medium-term growtn prospects of emerging market countries,'' added the prime minister.