WEF 2016: I am very certain that India is set to take the center stage at World Economic Forum, Davos. The recent policy measures and the political will be exhibited by the current Indian Government has caught the eyes of the ‘business community’ both globally and in the country. There is a positive sentiment and all pieces are almost set. If you look at the Indian infrastructure sector, it alone is ready to attract investments to the tune of ~ 1.7 trillion dollar in a scenario where globally there is dearth of good projects (according to World Bank report). This along with initiatives like ‘Make in India’ , ‘Skill India’, ‘Startup India’ etc have aided in bringing back the shine on India.
During the recently concluded National Strategy Day in India, the Regional Business Council (India) of WEF had discussed the scenarios faced by India and how to overcome the same. For a change, the discussions are not on the challenges or how but on when will these actions get implemented.
Agenda of National Strategy Day and how is it being continued at WEF
The discussions during the National Strategy Day organized by Regional Business Council were on identified growth areas for the country. The sessions were focused on mega trends for India, namely, agriculture (Furthering the New Vision for Agriculture), infrastructure (Renewing Infrastructure Finance, Building clean energy alliance), Taking Talent to Market, Smart cities etc. These are the critical areas where the Government is working to attract investments and are attached to various campaigns.
India’s expectations from WEF
Since the stage has been set during the prelim discussions at the National Strategy Day in India, I foresee a lot of conclusive talks towards global partnerships especially in modernizing agriculture, building clean energy alliances and how to attract global players in the Indian infrastructure space. Clearly the focus is on the Smart Cities where the developed countries are keen to bring in their expertise and the other area is investments in Renewable energy space in the country. How to promote various modes of innovative financing of infrastructure in urban areas; how to establish credit rating of urban local bodies as part of reforms to enable access to capital markets etc along with implementation of clean sanitization projects will be takeaways for the Indian industry. This is win-win situation as India requires investments and the global financial community is looking for good projects, so the focus is on India.
With political stability returning to the country, India must carry on with the efforts towards building foreign investor confidence. The global developments have placed India in an advantageous position and the Indian Government must remain focused and stay true to its vision thereby capturing the opportunities. For once, Regional Business Council (RBC- India) has been provided platforms with world economic forum to put its case forward.
By Ratul Puri, Chairman, Hindustan Powerprojects. Views are personal