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Liberalization will prevail over ‘transient’protectionism: Arun Jaitley

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-05-2017 Joyeeta Dey

Tokyo: Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday played down fears over protectionism, saying the need for greater liberalization will prevail once the debate on the issue settles down.

Speaking at a seminar at the Institute of International Finance (IIF) on Tokyo, he said he did not see the idea of protectionism spreading globally and weighing on economies including that of India. India, he said, will continue to grow at over seven per cent despite weak a global environment and temporary negative impact on private consumption from the government’s demonetisation of high-value currency.

“Even though we hear transient voices of protectionism in the world, at the end of the (day) it is the companies, consumers who are going to decide that they will need products or services which are cost competitive. They cannot be pushed into inefficiencies,” he said. “Therefore, hopefully I think the debate (on protectionism) would sooner than later settle down and the need for greater global integration and greater trade itself would prevail,” he added.

He said India’s experience has been that integration and greater liberalization has seen the economy and trade grow. “Our own experience has been that global integration, greater domestic liberalisation, greater integration and more trade has certainly helped us,” he said

“And the entire momentum and impact of more trade itself is going to benefit the global economy,” he added.

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