“India means business” is the message with which Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the 48th Annual General Meeting of the World Economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, beginning tomorrow. He will address the gathering at the plenary session on January 23; and in a short span of 24 hours will also host a dinner for CEOs from across the world. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambition: Hard sell India as an investment destination, post a massive jump on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business and major reforms like Demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
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. India has witnessed various reforms in four years under the leadership of Narendra Modi, along with a massive push for ‘Make in India’. The summit is happening at a time when the government is pushing for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in various areas.
Here are three things to watch out for at WEF 2018:
1. India means business: Narendra Modi will talk about steps taken to a make it easier to do business in India. He will address about 20 Indian CEO and 40 from around the world and inform them as how India is progressing. The recent 30 rank jump on World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business to top 100 will be a shot in his arm to impress the top business leaders of the world. Narendra Modi will hard sell India as an open economy which is ready for investments from across the world, and also as a major engine to drive the global economic growth.
2. Meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also meet Swiss President Alain Berset. Negotiations on a bilateral investment protection pact will figure at the meeting. The two leaders will also discuss, among other trade and business matter, the envisaged free trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), of which Switzerland is a member. However, whether the two leaders will have a conversation on the issue of black money is understood to not be on the official agenda.
3. All women chairs, including an Indian: For the first time, the WEF will have all women chairs including Indian banker, activist and entrepreneur Chetna Sinha. She will join world women leaders and entrepreneurs, including IMF Director Christine Lagarde and former Norwegian PM Erna Solberg. Called a ‘silent crusader’ by Forbes magazine, Chetna Sinha has founded Mann Deshi Mahila Sahkari Bank, the first bank in the country, run for and by rural women, to get a cooperative license from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Besides, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) will host a welcome reception for the participants, where it will showcase business opportunities in India in addition to country’s heritage and cuisine. India will host the ‘welcome reception’ with the country’s exquisite cuisine and age-hold Yoga heritage.
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.