NEW DELHI: Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday warned that the world economy will fall into a recession which will spare no country if the protectionist policies and "unilateral measures" being adopted by some developed countries continue.
Addressing the South-South and Triangular Cooperation summit here, Goyal said that the "the time has come to take on the policies of protectionism and unilateral measures by some developed countries that are having an adverse effect on global free trade", a statement said.
Hinting at the costly impact of trade tensions between the US and China, the Minister said that if "protectionist measures continue, there will be recession in the world and no country will escape it".
A recession is typically marked by two consecutive quarters of decline in a country's gross domestic product (GDP). Recession not only causes turmoil in the financial markets, but also causes the unemployment rate to soar, as both industrial production and investments take a hit.
Global financial markets have, of late, been experiencing sharp selling-off owing to recession fears.
Warning signals are also coming via the other historic indicator of recession -- the bond yield curve. The yield curve has typically inverted before the recession, and it is currently nearly similar to what was seen ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.
Goyal also urged all World Trade Organisation (WTO) member countries to take up reforms and not deal with issues in a piecemeal manner.
"We cannot afford to walk away from the current system but all member countries of the WTO must re-engage to ensure that the rule-based, transparent, and non-discriminatory governance that free-trade requires is taken forward honestly and in a non-discriminatory manner and keeping in mind the interests of different member countries with disparate GDP," he said.
In addition, Goyal said that the protectionist policies being adopted by some countries in the developed world are affecting engagement between nations for trade in goods and services as well as for the protection of investments.
US President Donald Trump recently threatened to pull the US out of the WTO, accusing China and India of taking undue advantage of the "developing" nations tag, when these emerging economies had actually surpassed this category.