Historically, protectionism has always been counter-productive and any protectionist policies by countries will only delay global economic recovery and deepen the recession, according to Union Minister for Commerce & Industry Anand Sharma.

Speaking at the inauguration of the 21st Nasscom India Leadership Forum 2013 here on Wednesday, Mr. Sharma said, “What is expected of governments, nations and leaders is to bring down existing barriers and not allow the coming up of new barriers of protectionism.”

Developed economies are raising barriers to outsourcing of IT jobs to India. The minister said “Either the lack of information or the pressures of the economic crisis is leading to the shrinkage of global trade. Because of these pressures, countries tend to look inwards. As a result, outsourcing was blamed. In my interactions with counterparts from developed countries, I have always argued for more open markets which allow for easier movement of professionals.”

“If countries become inward-looking, it will only delay global economic recovery and deepen the crisis,” he said.” Mr. Sharma said he was optimistic of India’s IT sector contributing $175 billion by 2020 and generating 10 million direct jobs from 3 million jobs.

Hopeful of reducing trade gap

Mr. Sharma said he was optimistic about the 0.8 per cent rise in January 2013 export figures. He was hopeful that the uptick would help close India’s trade gap by the end of fiscal 2012-13.

He pointed out that the oil import bill was “definitely a challenge, but for a growing economy, energy needs have to be met. In spite of the overall contraction in global trade, particularly, due to the eurozone crisis, hopefully, in the last quarter, we will be able to reduce the trade gap.”

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