SME Times News Bureau | 20 Jan, 2018
In the first prime ministerial participation from India in
two decades, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend this year's World
Economic Forum to be held in Davos, Switzerland.
WEF is an international body, based in Geneva, Switzerland.
It prime objective is to improve the state of the world by engaging business,
political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional,
and industry agendas
The Forum is best known for its annual meeting at the end of
January in Davos. The meeting brings together some 2,500 top business leaders,
international political leaders, economists, and journalists for up to four
days to discuss the most pressing issues facing the world.
Previously, Indian Prime Minister H.D. Devegowda attended
the forum in 1997.
Explaining the significance of Modi's visit, Vijay Gokhale, Secretary (Economic
Relations) in the Ministry of External Affairs, said that in 1997, the Indian
economy was well below $1 trillion whereas it is now above $2 trillion.
"The main event is the keynote speech the Prime Minister will give at the
plenary session on January 23," Gokhale said.
"There will also be a bilateral engagement with the President of
Switzerland and there will be occasions for pull-asides with other leaders as
and when these are fixed and depending on the requirements."
Gokhale said this visit is going to be a signal that India is "engaging
with the rest of the world in a very multi-dimensional way".
"This is occurring at a time when India's attractiveness as an economy has
grown," he stated.
"There has been a quantum jump in our rankings in multiple indices and in
the context of the recent reforms that the government has announced,
particularly in the last one year. The focus, therefore, is for our Prime
Minister to articulate his vision of how he sees the Indian economy as
contributing not only to the domestic improvement but also on a global
Giving details of Modi's programme in Davos, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary in the
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, said there will be a dinner on
January 22 which will be attended by CEOs of 60 companies.
Of these, 40 will be from 18 different countries, while 20 will be from India.
These 60 companies are across 26 different sectors.
"The market cap of these companies is $3.3 trillion," Abhishek said.
"If it had been a country it would have been the fifth largest in the
He said these companies have created four million jobs around the world of
which one million are in India. Twelve companies have been operating in India
for over a century.
"We are looking forward to the Prime Minister's interaction with the CEOs
because of the opportunities that India provides today in terms of various
sectors, ease of doing business and so on," Abhishek said.
Among those attending the dinner will be the heads of Airbus group, Hitachi
group, BAE Systems, IBM, and the Carlyle group.
On January 23, Modi will interact with 120 members of the International
Business Council which is a part of the WEF. This will include the CEO of
General Motors, the CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, and the Executive Directors of
BASF, Nestle, and J.P. Morgan Chase.
On January 22, DIPP will also be organising a reception in which 1500 delegates
are expected to participate.
"We will be showcasing the various achievements that India has made in the
last few years in terms of ease of doing business, in terms of massive
opportunities in future," Abhishek said.
Asked if Modi will have a bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump,
Gokhale said the two leaders will not be present in Davos at the same time. He
also said that there is no meeting planned with Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid
After Modi, Finace Minister Arun Jaitley, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh
Prabhu, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan, Railway
Minister Piyush Goyal, Minister of State for Development of the Northestern
Region Jitendra Singh, and Minister of State for External Affairs M.J. Akbar
will also participate in different sessions of the annual event.