Anand Sharma
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Failure of WTO talks would be 'disastrous', says India minister

17 May 2013 Last updated at 02:32 BST

India's commerce minister Anand Sharma has said that the current Doha round of trade negotiations at the World Trade Organisation must continue.

He told the BBC that a potential collapse of the trade talks would be "disastrous" for the world economy and global trade.

Global trade has struggled to recover from the 2008-2009 financial crisis, beset by more recent problems like the eurozone crisis and turbulence in the Middle East and Africa, he said.

In that context, the Doha round must continue and remain the centrepiece of all trade negotiations - any regional trade talks should be a "supplement" to the main WTO talks, he said.

Meanwhile he said that despite India's record trade deficit, he expects his country to become a major exporting country in coming years as the government puts its focus on the manufacturing sector.