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India to focus on infrastructure-led growth at G20

Saturday June 16, 2012 08:25:00 PM, IANS

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday voiced concern over a deepening eurozone crisis adversely impacting India and stressed the need to focus on investment in infrastructure as a means to stimulate growth.

Europe is one of India's major trade and investment partners and "continuing problems there will further dampen global markets and adversely impact our own economic growth", Singh said as he left for an eight-day tour of Mexico and Brazil to participate in the seventh summit of the Group of 20 developed and developing countries in the resort town of Los Cabos and the Rio+20 environment summit in Rio de Janeiro.

"I will stress the need to ensure primacy of the development dimension in G-20 deliberations and the need to focus on investment in infrastructure as a means of stimulating global growth," he said.

The summit takes place as Europe struggles to contain its debt crisis, the US muddles through an almost jobless recovery and emerging economies like India and China adjust to slower growth.

The two days of talks will kick off Monday, just hours after results are expected from Sunday's elections in Greece which may determine the country's chances of staying in the euro zone and threaten other bigger economies in the single currency area, such as Spain and Italy.

The Prime Minister said the need to revive global growth was of immediate concern.

"It is imperative that the G-20 countries work in coordination to implement policies that promote sustained growth. India has been pursuing this objective in its capacity as the co-chair of the Working Group on the Framework for Strong, Sustainable and Balanced Growth," he said.

As the current Chair of BRICS, India will host an informal meeting of leaders prior to the start of the G-20 Summit to exchange of views on the summit agenda.

From Los Cabos, Singh will travel to Rio de Janeiro for the UN-sponsored Earth Summit June 21-22.

On the Rio-20 summit, the Prime Minister said said the cardinal principles of Rio 1992 must not be diluted, "particularly the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity, which were at the core of global sustainable development efforts".

"We must acknowledge the continuing differences in levels of development across the world, and the need for provision of financial and technological support to the developing world if we are to work together as a global community to address our most pressing environmental challenges.

"India will work with like-minded countries to forge a consensus in this endeavour."

In the run up to Rio+20, the theme of "Green Economy" has attracted wide attention. India is of the view that "Green Economy" as a concept will succeed only if it enhances their ability to address poverty eradication, provides adequate policy space for national priorities and ensures that structural changes as a result of it do not lead to protectionism.

India Friday warned against restrictive trade barriers imposed by rich nations in the name of green economy and insisted that "sustainable development goals (SDG)" have to be "voluntary, aspirational and non-binding."

"Any attempt to make SDG binding would be opposed. It should be voluntary and aspirational, and has to be supported by means of implementation, including funding and removal of trade barriers," said Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan, India's chief negotiator at the summit.








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