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In time of crisis, shun protectionism: Pranab

business Updated: Sep 18, 2010 00:20 IST
HT Correspondent

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday asked the major economies to keep the door of trade open avoid protectionist measures in wake of the downturn that roiled the world.

“The immediate spheres of such coordination (between G20 member countries) are macroeconomic policies and exit strategies, pace of regulatory reforms to ensure financial stability without affecting prospects of growth... keep international trade open and avoiding protectionism,” Mukherjee said at a conference on financial crisis and G20 here.

Mukherjee said G20 governments will have to work together to support well functioning international economy.

G20 is a group of the world’s 19 richest countries that represent 90 per cent of the global economy.

“They will need to coordinate policy actions in a manner that can ensure strong, sustainable and balanced growth,” he said. “While doing so, Governments will have to build domestic political support for international policy coordination, wherein some national policies might have to be calibrated to ensure a more optimised outcome.”

Mukherjee’s statement assumes significance in the wake of the recent noises in the US against outsourcing of projects to countries such as India.

Recently, the Ohio state in the US banned government projects from being serviced out of offshore locations, ahead of Senate elections in November.

Finance ministers of G20 countries would meet next month, which will be followed by the fifth G-20 Summit of heads of states on November 11 and 12 in South Korea.

“It began as financial crises, which then became a general economic crisis, it is also becoming an employment crisis,” Mukherjee said. “As clearly indicated by the current crisis, no country is insulated and it is turning out to be much deeper and broader than expected.”