India At Davos: PM Modi flags ‘protectionism’ as a threat, says globalisation is shrinking

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Updated: January 23, 2018 5:11:00 PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged protectionism by the developed world, which he said is defying the principles of globalisation and global trade, as one of the three major challenges facing the world today, especially in the context of the evolving needs of a fast growing emerging world.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged protectionism by the developed world, which he said is defying the principles of globalisation and global trade. (Image: ANI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday flagged protectionism by the developed world, which he said is defying the principles of globalisation and global trade, as one of the three major challenges facing the world today, especially in the context of the evolving needs of a fast growing emerging world. Protectionism and other forces raising their heads against globalisation, Narendra Modi said during his maiden plenary address of the World Economic Forum, Davos, adding that new tariff- and non tariff barriers are being seen.

“We welcome the breeze of new cultures in our land, but if the same breeze tries to uproot us, we will resist,” Narendra Modi said. He said that many societies and countries are becoming self-centred, and globalisation as opposed to its definition is shrinking. Swiss President Alain Berset, too, pitched for openess and social inclusion in his welcome address to the summit. Besides, protectionism, Narendra Modi said, climate change and terrorism are posing a big threat to the world as well.

Narendra Modi on Tuesday made 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.

The World Economic Forum has praised India for its bold structural reforms and initiatives taken to position itself a global leader. “The remarkable pace of bold and structural reforms have boosted the macroeconomic fundamentals and enhanced India’s long-term economic outlook,” the WEF said, adding that India is expanding its leadership in a wide range of global initiatives.

“Its leading role in the Paris climate agreement and International Solar Alliance, and efforts to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the Nuclear Suppliers Group demonstrate a quest for a more pivotal role in global geopolitics,” it added.

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