Premji for anti-protectionism pressure on US

Premji for anti-protectionism pressure on US Bangalore: Wipro chairman Azim Premji on Wednesday said India should continue to exert pressure on the United States not to switch over to an era of protectionism.

Premji said the visit of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to India had stated that Washington would not "switch over to protectionism".

"I think our Prime Minister (Manmohan Singh) and the External Affairs Minister (S M Krishna) have taken this up at the appropriate levels in Washington", he told reporters in response to questions. "The Prime Minister has taken this up three times with President Barack Obama," he said.

So, as of now, the issue seemed to have been contained, the Chairman of the software major, listed on New York Stock Exchange, said.

"But one should be alert to the fact that the US is facing an unprecedented degree of unemployment...excess of 9.8 per cent", Premji said, adding, one should continue to keep the pressure on the US not to "switch over to the methodology of protectionism".

He also said Wipro was taking proactive steps to increase the number of local people in its workforce in overseas operations. Today, locals constitute as much as 30 per cent of its headcount overseas.

APEC trade ministers warn against protectionism

Asia-Pacific trade ministers today said here that the worldwide economic slump may be nearing its end but warned against protectionism while pledging to work harder for a new WTO deal by 2010.

"The global economy appears to be bottoming out, but the outlook remains uncertain and significant risks remain," the ministers from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum said in a statement.

"We will therefore persist with efforts to support growth and facilitate trade and investment flows, keep our markets open, and give a new push to concluding the Doha Round."

Bureau Report