Every year policy makers and academics gather at Davos in Switzerland to discuss world finance and economy. This little-known ski resort turns into the centre stage with the academic glitterati coming down from across the world.
The World Economic Forum Annual Meetings attract the best of minds. This year, Modi is going to attend the WEF, 20 years since the last Indian Prime Minister took the effort to attend the meeting, and that HD Deve Gowda in 1997. Already, giant billboards have announced his arrival, and the otherwise sleepy tourist town is abuzz with activity for 5 days.
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India will also host a welcome reception for the WEF members. Around 1,500 people who’re expected to attend the event would get a taste of Indian cuisine, culture and heritage. Modi will speak to investors and heads of state to market India as a great investment destination.
So, what is the World Economic Forum?
The World Economic Forum (WEF) was established as a not-for-profit foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1971. The organization aims to improve the world through public-private cooperation by engaging the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global agendas. Not tied to any special interests, the forum strives to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.
Why is WEF so important for India this year?
Modi would lead the largest Indian contingent of over 100 delegates to Switzerland during this year’s four-day World Economic Forum. India’s unique demographic dividend, rising tide of entrepreneurial spirit, breakthrough innovations, and structural reforms have enhanced India’s long-term economic outlook. From the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, demonetization to GST (Goods and Services Tax) and FDI, India has taken a series of steps to formalise the economy. This year’s World Economic Forum would provide a unique opportunity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi tell the world that India is ready to reap the benefits of its reforms process, and that foreign investors could also become a part of this process.
Who else is attending the WEF this year?
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, French President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will also be attending this year.US President Donald Trump is expected to talk about his ‘America First’ policy.A lot of focus is expected on what Trump says.
Another star speaker will be ex-RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan. Shahrukh Khan will be awarded with Crytal Award, and he will also speak about women empowerment at one of the sessions.
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Though an annual academic event, this year India is prepared to shine in Davos.