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Manmohan cautions against protectionism

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for the G20 summit cautioning against protectionism while declaring it was in India’s interest to have an “open, stable and rule-based” international economic environment.

business Updated: Nov 11, 2010 00:06 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in Seoul on Wednesday for the G20 summit cautioning against protectionism while declaring it was in India’s interest to have an “open, stable and rule-based” international economic environment including in trade and investment flows.

“Given the vast development challenges we face it is in India’s interest to have an open, stable and rule-based international economic environment, whether in the field of trade, investment flows, technology transfers or open markets,” Singh said in a statement before leaving for the G20 summit at Seoul.

Singh’s comments came as the G-0 countries worked to rebalance the lopsided global economy and resolve fractious currency disputes marked by a war of words. The summit’s theme of the Seoul summit is ‘Shared growth beyond the crisis’. “This is a key area of work, and we must guard against complacency in the pursuit of a strong financial regulatory framework and effective supervision,” Singh said.

Singh’s delegation for the two-day summit included Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao and finance secretary Ashok Chawla.

“We have to be particularly wary of protectionist sentiments. There are also developmental imbalances within and between countries, and rebalancing of the world economy is a major challenge. The success of the Mutual Assessment Process is important in this regard.” the Prime Minister said.

“India will actively participate in this process to strike the right balance between ensuring its credibility as well as the national interests of countries.”

The Prime Minister said the Seoul Summit will focus on the G20 framework for strong sustainable and balanced growth, including an ambitious outcome in the form of the Seoul Action Plan. “We will work with the others towards this end, and also encourage the G20 to focus on the development agenda which is being introduced for the first time in Seoul. We must also give though to how we can leverage global imbalances to bridge the infrastructure gap between rich and poor nations,” the Prime Minister said.