[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]P[/dropcap]rime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed concern over a slowdown in global trade at the G20 Summit here, on a day when official data showed India’s merchandise trade had declined for the 11th straight month in October. “Prospects for increase in trade momentum remain bleak in the prevailing global economic environment.
Slowdown in global trade is a major concern
Efforts to accelerate global economic growth will help trade,” the prime minister said in his intervention during the working luncheon session at G20 Summit on the topic “trade and energy”.
“Slowdown in global trade is a major concern,” he said.
Even as he was delivering his short speech, India’s official trade data showed that merchandise exports had declined by 17.5 percent in October — the 11th straight month of fall — while the cumulative dip was 17.62 during the first seven months of the current fiscal.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]T[/dropcap]he Prime Minister said that given these circumstances, a transparent, equitable, non-discriminatory and rule-based global trading system was essential for the global economy, especially in meeting the developmental objectives set out at the Doha round of talks under the aegis of the World Trade Organisation.
“All elements of the Bali package should be implemented fully. We look forward to a successful outcome at the Nairobi Meeting in December,” he said, referring to the 2013 Ministerial Meeting held in the Indonesian island in 2013 and the upcoming one in Kenya during December 15-18.
Modi also said regional trade agreements should not lead to fragmentation of global commerce and must support a more liberalised multilateral trade regime.
This remark comes in the wake of countries entering into bilateral and regional trade pacts in the absence of a consensus over a host of issues being discussed in the WTO multilateral forum.
[dropcap color=”#008040″ boxed=”yes” boxed_radius=”8px” class=”” id=””]O[/dropcap]n the energy side, the prime minister said it was closely linked and integrated with ecology and economy. “With respect to energy, there are three basic challenges: energy to power growth in developing countries; meeting the needs of the hundreds of millions without access to energy; and, increasing the use of clean and renewable energy,” he said.
“That is why India intends to meet its vast and growing energy needs in as sustainable manner as possible.”
Modi reiterated that India has targeted additional 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 besides cutting subsidies on fossil fuel, even as it has imposed a carbon cess on the use of coal.
“We are working on clean coal technology. We have an ambitious expansion plan for nuclear energy. By 2030, we have targeted 40 percent of our energy through non-fossil fuel.”
He also listed some priorities for the G20:
- Increase research, development in clean and renewable energy.
- Reduce cost and make it affordable and accessible for all.
- Increase financial support and technology transfer to increase access and transition to clean energy.
- Focus research efforts on clean coal technology and coal gasification.
- Develop proliferation-resistant nuclear energy technology.
- Increase energy efficiency and moderate energy use.
- Promote an integrated global gas market.
- Give greater voice to major emerging economies in the global governance structure for energy.
“These will meet our energy needs, combat climate change, and create huge economic opportunities.”
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