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G14 reject curbs on open trade

world Updated: Jul 10, 2009 00:18 IST

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The world’s biggest economies, meeting in Italy as the G14, agreed on Thursday to reject protectionism and to work to reach a global trade deal in 2010, as per their final statement.

“We confirm our commitment to maintain and promote open markets and reject all protectionist measures in trade in investment,” the statement said.

The Group of Eight industrial economies and Group of Five emerging economies issued separate statements on the second day of the L’Aquila summit, indicating only narrow points of agreement on the two key nonfinancial issues of climate change and trade.

Climate: On climate change, the two sides agreed to not let world temperature rise over two degrees Celsius – the tipping point for climate instability according to the United Nations. But there was no roadmap to get to that target.

The G-8 nations committed themselves to an 80 per cent reduction in greenhouse gases. The G-5 refused similar commitments until rich nations established interim emission targets and were generous about climate-related financial and technological assistance to developing nations.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said climate change could not be addressed by perpetuating developing countries’ poverty. India will host a climate change technology conference in October.

Trade: On the Doha trade round, there was only agreement on restarting negotiations next year. Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said there was an “expectation” talks would be concluded next year but denied reports India and China would announce a deadline to that effect. “Nobody seems ready to put a deadline,” he said. India wanted Doha to be treated as a package: “We cannot reopen the issues selectively.”

Other: The combined G8-G5 communiqué, a first for such summits, was being negotiated at the time of going to press.

The G5 statement called for making the international financial system more representative, warned against trade protectionism and barriers to cross-border financial flows, and stressed food security.

Singh said developing countries were the worst hit by the slowdown. The G5 felt food security had to be “at the core of the international agenda.”