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India warns against the danger of protectionism
Published on 4 Mar. 2009 1:22 AM IST
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India Tuesday warned against the dangers of protectionism and asked developed countries not to stop the flow of funds to developing countries due to the global economic downturn. “Developed countries should not resort to protectionism to resolve the crisis,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also acting finance minister, told reporters here when asked about the impact of global financial meltdown on developing countries. “This is the time that developed countries should ensure there is no hindrance to the flow of funds from developed to developing countries,” he said in a veiled attack at the new US plan to abolish tax benefits for American companies, which outsource jobs to other countries. “This sort of protectionism is going to complicate the situation,” he stressed at a joint press conference with Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Ivailo Kalfin. “We support the G20 mechanism to address global financial crisis,” he said while alluding to the G20 conference of the world’s leading economies London will host in April to address issues relating to global financial crisis. Mukherjee held talks with the Bulgarian deputy prime minister on a range of bilateral and global issues, including terrorism and global financial crisis. India and Bulgaria signed two agreements on easing the visa regime and promoting scientific and cultural cooperation between the two countries. In a speech last month, US President Barack Obama had said companies outsourcing jobs to overseas destinations may lose tax benefits. The plan has the potential to affect about 1,000 US companies. In an interview to a TV news channel, Mukherjee had said India’s IT industry would be affected due to the impact of the financial meltdown. “We are opposing protectionism,” he had said.

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