World Economic Forum summit begins tomorrow; Arun Jaitley, Nitin Gadkari among participants

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 19 2014, 14:30pm hrs
Policy makers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, and industry leaders will deliberate on issues of growth and competitiveness at the World Economic Forum's (WEF) India summit that begins tomorrow.

More than 700 leaders from business, government, civil society and academia from 45 countries will take part in the three-day India Economic Summit, organised by WEF in partnership with industry body CII.

Road Transport, Highways & Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, HRD Minister Smriti Irani, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal are among those expected to participate in the summit.

Under the theme, 'Redefining Public-Private Cooperation for a New Beginning', the summit convenes against the backdrop of significant economic growth and progress in reducing poverty in most parts of India, but also persistent inequality. The programme is built on three pillars: 'Boosting Global Competitiveness, Launching a Domestic Systems Reset and Scaling Local and Social Innovation. However, when asked about whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the Summit, as his name was missing from the list of participants, the organisers said they have requested him to consider participating in the summit.

"We do expect to hear as to whether he (Modi) would like to come into the Forum. At this point of time, we have just briefed his office as to what the programme structure is. We have requested him (Modi) if he can consider. So, we would await to hear to hear from him (Modi)," CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee said on the sidelines a conference.

The summit will see Jaitley, who also holds the portfolio of Defence, share his vision of the nation's rising global influence and achieving equitable growth for its population. Besides, it will also deliberate on how the challenges and opportunities are shaping India's growth outlook amid the rising investor interest.

The summit also entails a session on Investing in a Cleaner India, in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat campaign. It includes a session with Gadkari on analysing the initiatives needed to bridge the USD 1 trillion infrastructure deficit in the country.

The HRD Minister will participate in a session focusing on skills development and the solutions needed to bridge the skills mismatch to make India's youth more employable.

"The meeting comes as the new government completes six months in office. Business leaders are keen to engage with the government and see how it plans to restart the investment cycle, revive demand and convert the first signs of revival into a full-fledged recovery," Banerjee said.