Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be making his maiden appearance at Davos, where the top CEOs of the world and a large number of heads of government will gather for an annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in January 2018.
Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the meet at the Alpine ski resort in over two decades but it will also be the first time that the Indian Prime Minister will be treated like a chief guest with the country expected to dominate the show. Additionally about a hundred Indian corporate chiefs and policymakers will be present there.
The focus at the conference will be Indian theme with several sessions around India. There is a lot of interest to invest in the country. Last January, the Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered the main address in Davos where he courted many global businessmen and made a strong pitch to shun protectionism, which was an apparent dig at the US ahead of the Donald Trump’s inauguration later during the month. Most Indian PMs have avoided the event as it usually clashes with the Republic Day celebrations but Modi has decided to pack his already hectic January calendar with a trip to Switzerland where the event is scheduled for January 23-26.
He will be returning to the country to welcome Asian leaders for the Republic Day, which will be followed by the start of the budget session of Parliament. Only two PMs in the past have gone to Davos namely PV Narasimha Rao and HD Deve Gowda, the last one being in 1997. About 30-40 heads of the government are expected to be at Davos which will give India an opportunity to showcase its soft power and policies.