Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the annual general meeting of the World Economic Forum, Davos this year comes at an interesting time as the President of the United States, Donald Trump is also scheduled to attend the summit, while Chinese Premier Xi Jinping has already offered a robust defense of globalisation last year. For India, the biggest challenge is to uniquely position itself at the summit attended by attended by 350 political leaders including over 60 heads of states along with chief executives of the world’s most important companies and over 1,000 leaders from different walks of lives.
As Narendra Modi is expected to hardsell India as an investment destination, with the message ‘India means business’, top banker Uday Kotak says that that it is an opportunity for India to position itself uniquely from China’s global leadership and US’s America First messaging. He said, India needs to position itself as a statesman with a vision for new India, while inviting world’s best to do business with India. “(WEF 2018 theme) Leadership in a fractured world is our opportunity,” Uday Kotak, who is also attending the summit, tweeted on Tueesday.
Last year Xi Jingping offered a robust defense of globalisation, in a vieledcounter to Donald Trump’s protectionist policy in Davos, which was hailed as a new era in global leadership. “No one will emerge as a winner in a trade war” and “in a world marked by great uncertainty and volatility the world is looking to China” are the statements by Xi Jingping that are still fresh in world CEOs’ minds. But, SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh told PTI that India has a great story to tell and will stand out. “There is a good story on all economic parameters and of course there is the larger story also of 1.4 billion people, of a young population and of a massive market.”
While Narendra Modi will deliver the opening speech at Davos, Donald Trump will deliver a special speech, and the world is waiting for him to make headlines. The Guardian said, “One option would be to play to the crowd inside the conference hall by insisting that the US remains wedded to multilateralism. But to do so he would have to repudiate what he has said up until now about immigration, globalisation and climate change. That would be a big story.”
While Narendra Modi is all set to make his debut at the summit as the Prime Minister for after a gap of nearly two decades, this is not the first time when he is becoming a part of the WEF. He had been there in 2007 as Gujarat’s chief minister, then, selling the state as a special economic zone, however, at another summit called the annual meeting of Champions. The summit has come at a time when the Narendra Modi government has agrresively pushed some structural reforms, including ‘Make In India’ and jumped 30 ranks on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business.
The summit also coincides with government’s massive push for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in various areas. At the plenary session, Narendra Modi will talk about steps taken to a make it easier to do business in India and project the as an open economy which is ready for investments from across the world. Last night, the Prime Minister adressed a roundtable attended by 40 CEOs of global companies and 20 from India.