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PM Modi to deliver keynote speech at the plenary session of WEF

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(G.N.S) Dt. 22

Davos

– Modi leaves for Davos to attend World Economic Forum

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for Davos to participate in the World Economic Forum where he said he will share his vision for India’s future engagements with the international community. The prime minister had said in his departure statement yesterday that India’s engagement with the outside world in the recent years has become “truly and effectively multi- dimensional covering the political, economic, people to people, security and other spheres”. “At Davos, I look forward to sharing my vision for India’s future engagement with the international community,” he said. Modi, who will deliver the opening plenary address at the WEF summit on Tuesday, said he is also looking forward to separate bilateral meetings with Swiss President Alain Berset and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in Davos. “I am confident that these bilateral meetings would be fruitful and give a boost to our relations with these countries and further strengthen economic engagement,” he said. Modi will host a dinner for global CEOs today.

On Tuesday, he will interact with global business community members, besides delivering his keynote address.

With exquisite desi cuisine on the platter and live yoga sessions on display, the annual Swiss jamboree of the rich and powerful from ‘a fractured world’ will begin on Monday in Davos where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to pitch India as a growth engine for the global economy.

Over 3,000 world leaders from business, politics, art, academia and civil society will attend the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting over the next five days in the small ski resort town on snow-covered Alps mountains, where the Indian presence will be the largest ever with over 130 participants.

WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab will declare the summit open on Monday evening with a welcome message on the meeting’s theme, ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’.

It will be followed by honouring Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, Australian actress Cate Blanchett and legendary musician Elton John with the annual ‘Crystal Awards’ for their respective work towards improving the state of the world.

The evening will also see a ballet performance, while India will host the ‘welcome reception’ with the country’s “exquisite cuisine and age-old Yoga heritage as well as the spirit of a young, innovative New India”.

As the world leaders awaits to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for India’s engagment with the world, Indian CEOs today made a strong pitch for a statesman like position for the country to counter the protectionism and domestic rhetoric likely to be presented by countries like the US.

Before his departure from India, Modi had said he will share his vision for India’s future engagements with international community in Davos, and will seek “serious attention” of world leaders on existing and emerging challenges to the contemporary global systems.

“The existing and emerging challenges to the contemporary international system and global governance architecture deserve serious attention of leaders, governments, policy makers, corporates and civil societies around the world,” he tweeted.

“I look forward to my first visit to the World Economic Forum at Davos, at the invitation of India’s good friend and Founder of the WEF, Professor Klaus Schwab,” he said, while describing the theme of the Forum, ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’ as “both thoughtful and apt”.

The comments assume significance as several leaders are expected to talk about various risks facing the world, including those from economic protectionism and differences between various world powers. The Summit is also being attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emannuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, among other leaders.

Spicejet’s Singh said Modi has a great story to tell about significant reforms undertaken in India and even a greater story about 1.4 billion Indians, a young population and a massive market for the world. “When we saw Chinese premier Xi Jinping here last year, there was a lot of focus on China and its natural there would be a lot of focus on India this time,” Singh said. Singh said he and all other Indian CEOs are already seeing overflowing meeting requests and there is certainly a lot of interest in India this time.

In the largest ever Indian presence in the 48 year history of WEF summit in this Swiss ski resort town, more than 130 Indian CEOs are present along with over 2,000 business leaders and 70 heads of states and governments. Besides, several other leaders from politics, business, academia, art, culture and civil society are also present for the event which opens today and will close on Friday.

Pitching for a nuanced message here at WEF to present India as an open economy that cares for the interest of domestic as well as global audience, Kotak said that “we need to position ourselves at this forum as a statesman and not just a salesman”.

He also said it is a very big opportunity for India to demonstrate the new India we are building.

Kochhar said Indian economy is seeing broad-based improvement across all sectors and should clock 7 per cent growth in the second half of the current fiscal.

She also said reforms have fast tracked the process of digitisation and formalisation of Indian economy and the country is on track to again attain the fastest growth rate in the world.

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