New Delhi: Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal on Friday called upon countries of the Global South to forge new partnerships and mechanisms so that the voice of the Global South is reflected on the decision-making table, according to a press release by The Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

The Minister said the objective of the Voice of Global South Summit is to pay attention to the issues pertaining to the Global South and those issues before key global forums like G20, the UN, and other multilateral settings.

Touching upon the theme of the Session, Goyal said these are the key pillars for the development of the countries of the South.

The Minister made the remarks while hosting the Commerce and Trade Ministers' Session on Friday on the theme - 'Developing Synergies in the South: Trade, Technology, Tourism, Resources'.

Ministers from 13 countries, namely, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burundi, Central African Republic, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Haiti, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Sudan, Timor Leste, and Zimbabwe, participated in the Session.

Highlighting the impact of COVID on global trade and particularly on developing countries, Goyal stressed upon the need to work together to build resilient supply chains. He also emphasised upon the need for de-politicization of the global supply of essential medicines, the Ministry press release read.

He said, "At the WTO Ministerial Conference held in Geneva in June 2022, India, South Africa, and other developing countries worked together to obtain the TRIPS waiver decision providing equitable and affordable access to vaccines. We shall redouble our efforts at the WTO to get the TRIPS waiver extended to COVID-19 diagnostics and therapeutics."

Goyal highlighted that the countries of the Global South are now contributing more than half of the world's economic growth with South-South trade touching USD 5.3 trillion in 2021. In this regard, he urged for enhanced trade linkages for the mutual benefit of all our countries.

Mentioning that India is providing unilateral duty-free market access to the least-developed countries (LDCs) since 2008 through the duty-free tariff preference (DFTP) scheme of India, he said that India is also open to entering into Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) with interested countries in the South, according to the commerce ministry press release.

Calling Connectivity a defining factor for success in the developing world, Shri Goyal spoke of India's National Logistic policy (NLP) and the PM-Gati Shakti as the steps in this direction. He said countries of the Global South can work together to exchange best practices in models of connectivity that we employ in our countries.