Need for Rule-based Multilateral Trading System
The Hindu, 30 June 2009

MUNICH, Germany - Trade Ministers of India, Brazil and South Africa have come out with a joint declaration asserting that the needs and aspirations of developing countries must remain in the forefront of the Doha Round of World Trade Organisation talks.

The declaration came on the sidelines of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ministerial meeting in Paris and ahead of the Global India Business Meeting in Munich, at which Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will be a lead speaker.

The statement came after Mr. Sharma held talks with his Brazilian and South African counterparts seeking their engagement for the resumption of the Doha Round and also for protecting the interests of developing nations. The declaration, highlighting the need for a rule-based multilateral trading regime, emphasised that it would be unreasonable to expect further unilateral concessions from the developing countries in the present economic crisis.

Mr. Sharma made it clear to OECD delegates that protectionist tendencies on the part of some developed countries in times of economic downturn would adversely impact the developing countries.

He reaffirmed India's commitment to the successful conclusion of Doha Round for creating a rule-based multilateral trading system, which would be fair and equitable and address the aspirations of the developing countries.

Speaking at the Global India Business Meeting organised by Horasis in Munich, Mr. Sharma urged global companies to invest in India as it offered attractive returns even as the world grappled with the worst-ever recession and slowdown. Chief Executive Officers of leading firms from India, Germany, the US and Saudi Arabia, including Siemens, Volkswagen, Bajaj Auto and Infosys, were present.