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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report


Sonia, Manmohan not to attend WEF meet at Davos

Siddharth Zarabi in New Delhi | December 21, 2006 10:50 IST

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will not be able to attend the annual World Economic Forum meeting to be held at Davos from January 24-28 next year.

The two leaders had been invited but have expressed their inability to attend the meeting.

The Indian government delegation to the meeting will comprise Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, and the chief ministers of Delhi, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The green signal for the official delegation is awaited from the PMO.

Incidentally, Gandhi had attended the India Economic Summit held earlier this November in New Delhi.

In her speech at the plenary session, the Congress president had made the point that "the world faces old-age problems, but India's problems are age-old". She stressed that the reality of India was complex, varied and full of contrasts. The country has moved ahead on economic growth, business, and science and technology, but formidable challenges remain.

The World Economic Forum this year was keen on having the top Indian leaders attend and discuss the shifting power equation globally. The focus is on four main areas - driving growth, addressing global fault lines, exploring identity and the communication disconnect, leading in a networked world.

The co-chairs of the 2007 forum include Sunil Mittal, chairman and group managing director, Bharti Airtel; John Browne, group chief executive, BP; Michelle Guthrie, chief executive officer, Star Group, Hong Kong; Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer, The Coca-Cola Company; James J Schiro, group chief executive officer and chairman of the group management board, Zurich Financial Services, Switzerland; and Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer, Google.

The annual meeting is the World Economic Forum's flagship because of a larger set of activities that include regional meetings and initiatives. The central goal of the meeting is to find solutions to global challenges. The annual meeting began in 1971, then called the Davos Symposium, and it takes place in Davos, Switzerland each year in January.

Over 2,000 people take part in an intensive five-day programme of workshops and interview-style panel discussions that focus on crucial global, regional and industry issues. The media represents 20 per cent of all participants at the annual meeting.

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