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India criticises US protectionist approach
February 13, 2013, 1:28 pm


“Protectionism becomes counterproductive” says commerce minister. [AP]

Anand Sharma, the union minister for commerce & industry has reminded the US that India is also outsourcing activities.

“Let us remember that just as America has off-shored some of its work to India, Indian companies are outsourcing activities to American companies, including software development,” said Sharma.

The Indian commerce minister has urged the developed nations to remain committed to open markets and guard against protectionism.

Speaking at the 21st NASSCOM India Leadership Forum 2013 in Mumbai on Wednesday, Sharma said, “I have in all my interactions with leaders of the developed world argued for freer and more open markets, which allow easier movements of professionals.”

He observed that historically, the countries tend to look inwards, when faced with recessionary trends and said “this is not the right approach. On the contrary, protectionism becomes counterproductive, delaying recovery and deepening recession.”

Earlier today, the commerce ministry released exports data for January showing outward shipments rising 0.8 per cent to $25.58 billion while imports jumped 6.12 per cent to $45.5 billion, widening the trade deficit to $20 billion.

This is the first time in eight months that exports recorded a growth.

Quoting from the study by Professor Michael Salinger of the Tuck School of Business, which analysed the practices of 2,500 American multinational corporations, Sharma said, evidence suggested that for every job outsourced to India, nearly two new jobs were generated in the US.

The minister said that the Indian software professionals add to competitive strengths of various economies in the world, improving efficiencies and driving the process of change.

“Erecting artificial barriers will only end up hurting economies and not supporting the cause of the domestic industry” he said.

Re-emphasising the government support for the IT and ITES sector, Sharma said he is optimistic of the sector contributing $175 billion by 2020 and generating 10 million direct jobs.

Last year the Indian IT and ITES industry exports reached $75.8 billion and the provided direct employment to 3 million people.

Source: Agencies