Finance minister P Chidambaram will inaugurate the 20th India Economic Summit to be held from December 5-7, 2004.
Being jointly organised by the World Economic Forum and the Confederation of Indian Industry, the summit will bring together from 33 countries over 700 participants, including business leaders from Indian and international companies, government officials, and media.
The summit will provide an excellent opportunity for business leaders to deliberate and assess India's achievements in areas of priority for the country's sustained economic progress under the summit's working theme this year: 'India: The New Dynamics.'
The summit programme will combine high-level panel discussions and interactive sessions to develop strategic insights on dealing with current trends, challenges and opportunities. It will also provide participants an integrated programme, which is formed under five pillars:
1. The Future of India - New Dynamics, trade, indian states, governance and young general of parliamentarians
2. Infrastructure (soft and hard) -- energy, water, aviation, ict, special economic zones, tourism, agriculture, rural development
3. Business Issues: Money matter, new growth centres, Made in India, FDI, competitiveness, retail, adjusting your products, offshoring, Indian multinationals.
4.India and the world: India and the World, India and China, India and the US, South Asia and individual workshops
5. Social issues: health, role of women, poverty.
At the press conference, Colette Mathur, Director for India, World Economic Forum said: "Never before, in 20 years, have we experienced so much interest to join us in India. This clearly indicates that the country has become a priority destination for partnership and investment. Our summit will be an exceptional opportunity to engage the government with respect to its economic and social agenda and its strategy to maintain the momentum of growth and reforms."
In his address to the press, Dhruv Sawhney, Past President CII and Chairman, India Advisory Council and Chairman and Managing Director, Triveni Engineering and Industries Ltd, said that the response to the India Economic Summit indicates the interest international investing community has in India.
"It is a reflection of the new dynamics of India -- the opportunities India offers in various sectors like agriculture, services and manufacturing," he said.
Some of the key speakers at the summit include: Kamal Nath, minister of commerce and industry; Praful Patel, minister for civil aviation; Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission; Prithviraj Chavan, minister of state, office of the prime minister; J N Dixit, national security adviser, office of the prime minister; Sheila Dikshit, chief minister of the national capital territory of Delhi; and Vasundhara Raje, chief minister of Rajasthan.
Led by Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF, the summit will be co-chaired by Rahul Bajaj, past president, cii and chairman and managing director of Bajaj Auto; Rolf-Ernst Breuer, chairman, Deutsche Bank, Germany; N R Narayana Murthy, chairman of the board and chief mentor, Infosys Technologies; Shafik Gabr, chairman and chief executive officer, Artoc Group for Investment and Development, Egypt; James H Goodnight, chairman, president, chief executive and co-founder, SAS Institute, USA; and Michelle Guthrie, chief executive officer, Star Group, Hong Kong SAR.
Representatives from international government and business communities include: Erika Mann, member of the European Parliament, Brussels; John B Taylor, US undersecretary for international affairs; Mahmoud Safwat Mohieldin, Minister of Investment of Egypt; Mandisi Mpahlwa, minister of trade and industry of South Africa; Ali Saleh A. Al Saleh, minister of commerce of Bahrain; Supachai Panitchpakdi, director-general, World Trade Organization; Philippe Petit, deputy director-general, World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva.
A new dimension of the India Economic Summit will be a session on 'Creating a Dynamic South Asian Region by 2020', with a large participation from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
There will also be a session on 'Middle East and India: Prospects for Trade and Investment,' with participation from the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain.
There are 24 partners for the India Economic Summit, the largest number of partners for the Summit in India. Some of the partners are department of industrial policy and promotion, government of India, ABB, The Boeing Company, Bombardier, IBM Corporation, Siemens, Swiss Re, Emaar Properties and Standard Chartered Bank.
As a lead up to the main event, a new initiative at the summit, this year, is the inclusion of side sessions, where discussions on global health initiative, water initiative would take place.
At the same time, BBC World would be hosting a debate on energy challenge, where the implications of ever increasing demand for energy on national and world stability, would be discussed.
Besides, several leading NRIs will have a meeting with minister Jagdish Tytler, Indian business leaders and social entrepreneurs. The NRIs will discuss with the minister, how they could work together to achieve mutual benefits.The meeting will be co-chaired by Karan Bilimoria, CEO, Kobra Beer, UK and co-chair, Indo British Partnership; and Sunil Kant Munjal, president, CII, and managing director and CEO, Hero Corporate Services.