New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will impress upon world leaders at WEF in Davos next week that India is an open economy and ready for global investments across sectors, top government officials said today. Announcing details of Modi's visit to the Swiss resort for the World Economic Forum (WEF), Secretary (Economic Relations) in the External Affairs Ministry, Vijay Gokhale said, "it will be a 24 hour visit but a very focused one".
In the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister since 1997, Modi will be in Davos on January 22-23, and address the opening plenary of the WEF. "Our economy has expanded significantly since the last time an Indian prime minister went to Davos and therefore this visit is very important," Gokhale said.
"In addition to the keynote address, Modi will also have bilateral meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset. Besides, there will be scope for pull asides, details of which are being worked out," he said.
This will be a very significant visit and will give a message about our engagements with the world, he said. The focus will be on prime minister's vision about India's economy's at the domestic as well as global level.
Talking about the business engagements of Indian leaders in Davos, Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), said that PM will also host a round table dinner on January 22 for 60 top CEOs including 40 from global corporates and 20 from India. They will include CEOs of Airbus, Hitachi, BAE Systems and IBM.
Modi will also have an interaction with 120 members of the investor community at WEF on January 23 which will include heads of General Motors, Salesforce and Royal Dutch Shell, Nestle and JP Morgan.
Abhishek said DIPP will also host a welcome reception for the WEF members, where 1,500 people are expected. "We will showcase India's progress while also giving a taste of Indian cuisine as well as of Indian culture and heritage," he said.
Besides PM, there will be six Union Ministers including Arun Jaitley who will address three sessions on January 24. Suresh Parbhu will have nine sessions over three days, Dharmendra Pradhan will have five sessions, Piyush Goyal (10), Jitendra Singh (3) and M J Akbar (2). There will also be a large number of round tables including on financial inclusion in India. Abhishek said the reforms that have been taken in the last few years will be showcased in Davos. "The central message the prime minister will give is that
India is open and ready to do business in a big way. We want to tell the world to come and invest in India," Gokhale said. "PM's message will be about India being an economy that can be engine of global growth. We want others to participate in our growth and want to participate in others' growth as well," he added.
When asked why PM has chosen to go Davos this year, Gokhale said: "My sense is that PM wanted things to change on the ground before speaking about them. We have already opened our economy and it is no more the case that we are going to do it."
The five-day WEF Annual Meeting 2018 beginning on January 22 will be attended by 70 state heads. Besides, 38 heads of major international organisations such as the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank, as also nearly 2,000 CEOs will be present. The theme of the meeting, spread over 400 sessions, would be 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World'. The meeting will also see the largest ever proportion of women leaders (21 per cent), with all co-chairs being women this time, including social entrepreneur Chetna Sinha from India and IMF chief Christine Lagarde.
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