Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Anand Sharma has said that the Indian economy has been a stabilising force even as the world grapples with economic crisis. However he warned against protectionism at the time of economic crisis.

“The fulcrum has shifted, when it comes to the economic growth, the emergence of India and other economies are a factor of stability and growth,” he said, at the India Economic Summit of the World Economic Forum, here, on Sunday.

Mr. Sharma said that the world economy was in recession for five years now and the full recovery was not yet in sight. He said G-20 as a group had played a key role in ensuring that large scale job losses did not take place across the world. “G-20 today, is an inclusive and representative platform, as the new emerging economies like China, India, Brazil, Russia have been part of the discussion process” said Mr. Sharma.

The Minister however, warned against protectionism at a time when the sovereign debt crisis is engulfing some of the fragile European nations. “In difficult times, the tendency is to look inwards, to have protective measures, this is something the G-20 must reassure the world that it will not happen.”

The Minister called for completing the ongoing WTO negotiation and correct historical imbalances to make the new economic order more equitable and more accessible.

He also underlined the need for reforming the Brettonwood institutions — International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. “The new multilateral system must reflect contemporary world realities,” he added.

Mr. Sharma has said, as the Indian economy grows, millions of job opportunities are going to be created in the country. He said making the young people employable by giving them multiple industrial skills was going to be one of the biggest challenges before the country.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan said India was on a “high-growth trajectory going into the next decade.” He expressed faith in the intrinsic resilience and strength of India's democratic institutions, but sounded a note of concern at the events unfolding in the U.S. and Europe.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum; Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries; Member Secretary of Planning Commission Sudha Pillai; and Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Chanda Kochhar participated at the plenary session of the India Economic Summit. The panellists referred to the complexity of India and the difficulty of reconciling its extraordinary diversity of ideologies and opinions.

B. Muthuraman, Vice-Chairman of Tata Steel and President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) said: “The Western world is gradually becoming uncompetitive in many products, [and] developing countries have over the last 10-15 years become centres of consumption.”

New commercial corridors are linking emerging markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America, spurred largely by the rising demand in fast-growing China and India for raw materials and energy to fuel development. “There will be increased South-South trade and investment,” Mr. Muthuraman predicted.

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