The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles Shri Anand Sharma addressed on July 26 The Global Investment Conference in London. Speaking during a session on Global Trade Partnerships, Shri Sharma put stress on the issue of free movement of labour across the borders. Shri Sharma said that “if we are viewing the trade paradigm from a perspective of generating sustainable employment, it is imperative to address the issue of free movement of labour across borders”. He also wondered as to why “in today’s globalised world, where capital and technology move with unprecedented speed, in unprecedented volumes across national boundaries”, labour cannot move. British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr. Vince Cable and Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment, Nigeria, were also present during the session on Global Trade Partnerships.
Highlighting the success of North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),
European Union’s growth, and dynamism of Association of Southeast Asian
Nations, or ASEAN, which Shri Sharma said are “testimony to the
potential offered by freer markets and liberal trade regimes”, he added
that it is no longer an option for countries to stand back in isolation
and erect barriers around their national boundaries. “Today, intra-NAFTA
trade constitutes 51% of its total trade, intra-EU trade is 65% and
intra-ASEAN trade is a quarter of the total ASEAN trade,” Shri Sharma
said to underscore that regional trade agreements are now the building
blocks of the emerging global economic architecture.
Stating that India has “engaged with all dynamic and emerging parts of
the world in a spirit of true partnerships”, Shri Sharma said that India
is in “an advanced stage of concluding an ambitious Broad based Trade
and Investment agreement with EU.” India, in the last three years, has
also signed Trade in Goods Agreement with ASEAN, Comprehensive Economic
Partnership Agreements with Republic of Korea, Japan, and Malaysia.