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Need to stick with Doha trade talks: Sharma

Americas,Mexico,Business/Economy, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 IANS

Puerto Vallarta (Mexico), April 20 (IANS) Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma has stressed the need for sticking to the Doha Round of trade talks and creating a 'level playing field' by removing impediments to trade.


'We must strive to create a level playing field before we ask all to compete as equals,' Sharma said in his address late Thursday night at the G20 trade ministers' meet being held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.



'There is a need to fulfil the promises made in the past, implement decisions taken over years and remain faithful to the mandate of the Doha development round.'



According to Sharma, current proposals for freeing up trade in the service sector are not up to the mark as there are restrictions on free movement of professionals across borders.



'India has specific interests in the services agreement. However, the current proposals that relate to services do not seem to address the core issues that concern the movement of natural persons,' Sharma said.



'Their mobility is severely restricted due to visas, entry procedures, and lack of mutual recognition of qualifications among other impediments.'



Sharma also expressed his dismay over restrictive policies which stop free movemenet of labour force, while capital finance and technologies are able to transcend borders.



'Labour largely remains hemmed in by national boundaries. They remain engaged in the value chains only as long as wages are low and present a comparative advantage. This is a harsh reality which we cannot ignore.'


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