Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be showcasing India as one of the key engines for global economic growth and will outline the reforms he has carried out to make India a seamless and investor friendly market at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Modi leaves for the Swiss Alps resort today. He is the first prime minister to represent the country at the forum in more than two decades. The last visit was by Deve Gowda in 1997. Deve Gowda headed a weak and unstable coalition government and the US and Europe were seen as main drivers of global growth.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a statement that the existing and emerging challenges to the international system and global governance architecture need serious attention of governments, leaders, corporates, policy makers and civil societies across the world. He further mentioned that India’s engagement with the outside world has become multi-dimensional covering the economic, political, security and people in addition to other spheres. Modi will be looking forward to sharing the vision for India’s future engagement with the international community.
India is a $2.3 trillion economy currently and is poised to be a fast growing economy in 2018 with an expected growth of 7.3% ahead of China. Modi is currently heading India’s first majority government in three decades and despite the decline in the growth rate, the country is regarded as a global growth hotspot. The four day event opens on Tuesday with Modi addressing the plenary session and closes on Friday with US President Donald Trump’s address. Trump is expected to talk about the “America First” policy and Modi is expected to “articulate his vision of how he sees the Indian economy contributing not only to the benefit of the people of India but also on a global scale”.
Indian government has taken a series of structural reforms in order to stimulate growth including in taxation and banking. It revamped the bankruptcy regime, cracked down on black money and rolled out a landmark goods and services tax which eliminated a number of indirect taxes. It is expected that Modi will talk about the new, young and innovative India apart from his experiences with cooperative federalism. He is expected to urge the world leaders in Davos for a unified approach towards dealing with economic imbalances, terrorism and cyber threats.
Apart from addressing the WEF, Modi will sit down for a round table dinner with 60 CEOs including a few from India. 20 CEOs are from India and remaining 40 from 18 different countries. These companies are across 26 different sectors and the market cap of the companies is $3.3 trillion. This includes Airbus, IBM and BAE Systems amongst others. Modi will also interact with another set of 120 international business leaders who are the members of International Business Council that forms a part of the WEF. Key names amongst them include top executives of BASF, Royal Dutch Shell, Salesforce.com, General Motors, Nestle and JPMorgan Chase.
Other world leaders at the WEF include Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, UK Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron.