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India will oppose trade barriers: Nath

February 08, 2008 19:41 IST

India on Friday warned that it will retaliate against countries that seek to impose non-tariff barriers to trade on its exporters.

Without taking names, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath told exporters at a meeting in Bangalore that the sub-continent nation has become a key market to some of these countries, which could not afford to lose out on it.

He was replying to questions about some countries creating hindrances to trade by invoking labour laws, packaging standards and safety measures.

Last year, some leading international clothing brands had put a freeze on sourcing of readymade garments from an Indian manufacturer citing employment of child labour. It had nearly caused a diplomatic stand-off between India and the Netherlands.

Industry estimates had pegged the growth of garment sourcing from India at 12 per cent. Other estimates suggested that clothing and textile production in India by foreign brands would touch $ 22-25 billion this year.

The textile industry, an employment intensive sector, is already said to have suffered the worst by the rupee's appreciation against the US dollar.

Nath said India's strength lies in its credibility and should be leveraged in the face of stiff competition offered by global players. He said India was negotiating trade agreements with various countries to strengthen its position on trade. India's inherent strength of being a large market and her ability to topping technology and innovation has made the country into a key supply source, the minister said. 

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