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125-member Indian delegation heads for Davos

Source: PTI
January 19, 2014 13:07 IST
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WEFA 125-member strong Indian delegation will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at Davos, Switzerland this week, where they will highlight efforts being undertaken to turn around the economy.

The annual talk-fest of rich and powerful from across the world in snow-laden Alpine resort town of Davos will be attended by nearly 40 heads of government among more than 2,500 global leaders from over 100 countries.

Those scheduled to participate from India include Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commission Deputy Chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Union Ministers Kamal Nath, Praful Patel and Jyotiraditya Scindia, as also top industry leaders such as Cyrus Mistry, Mukesh Ambani, Azim Premji, Sunil Mittal and Adi Godrej.

Top industry chamber Confederation of Indian Industry president Kris Gopalakrishnan, who is also vice chairman of IT giant Infosys, is one of the Co-Chairs of this year's WEF Annual Meeting.

CII said in a statement here that the Indian delegation at the summit will highlight the efforts taken by the government to turn the economy around.

"It will focus on the investor-friendly measures that have been taken such as easing restrictions on foreign investment, resolution of bottlenecks in project clearance and taking steps towards fiscal consolidation," CII added.

The meeting is being held at a time when global economic crises have given way to an increased need for further structural reforms in emerging and developed markets and India is no exception to the rapid economic changes being witnessed in the world.

"India is shaking off its sluggishness and is witnessing a rebound in growth.

“According to the World Bank's Global Economic Prospects 2014, the Indian economy is expected to witness a growth of 6.2 per cent in 2014-15 and then to 6.6 per cent in the following year," the industry body said.

Along with Gopalakrishnan, others co-chairing the meeting include Nigeria-based Dangote Group chief Aliko Dangote, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Chairman Jiang Jianqing, Novartis CEO Joseph Jimenez, Total chief Christophe de Margerie, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin.

Among the top global leaders, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Australia's Tony Abbott, Japan's Shinzo Abe, Italy's Enrico Letta, Mexican President Enrique Penaa Nieto, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff will address the meeting.

From India, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, as also CII Director

General Chandrajit Banerjee, HCL Chairman Shiv Nadar, Hero Group's Pawan Munjal and Sunil Munjal, Jubilant Bhartia Group's Hari S Bhartia, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, TCS chief N Chandrasekaran, Bharat Forge chief Baba Kalyani, banker Uday Kotak and Fortis group's Malvinder Mohan Singh would also be present.

Industry body CII and Indian companies would also be organising several events on the sidelines of the annual meet.

While CII will organise its traditional annual 'India Reception' and breakfast sessions in partnership with Indian companies, many domestic companies like Wipro and Bajaj Auto will hold receptions and Bollywood music evenings in Davos.

Besides, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma would be part of a Round-Table on investments in India.

Those scheduled to attend the five-day WEF Annual meeting, beginning January 21, include more than 40 heads of state or government, including those from the UK, Australia, Japan, Iran, Israel, Pakistan, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, Republic of Korea and Switzerland, WEF announced on Sunday at a press conference in Geneva.

Besides WEF meetings, the Indian leaders are expected to hold bilateral and multi-lateral meetings with their counterparts in other countries, as also with the CEOs of many top companies from across the world.

This year's theme would be "The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business'.

Other top leaders attending the meeting are World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, IMF chief Christine Lagarde, Israel Prime Minister Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Myanmar President U Thein Sein.

Swiss Confederation President Didier Burkhalter, Queen of Jordan Rania Al Abdullah, Kofi Annan Foundation Chairman Kofi Annan, WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, US Trade Representative Michael Froman and OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria would also be there.

The five-day meeting would include close to 250 sessions, where top policymakers from across the world would discuss various issues with business leaders from hundreds of global companies, including PepsiCo, ArcelorMittal, Google, Yahoo, Total, Bank of America, Microsoft, BP, Citi, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Volkswagen, UBS, Unilever and Standard Chartered.

The annual meeting would start on January 21 with a welcome address by WEF Chairman, to be followed by an awards ceremony and a special concert, in the evening, while official sessions would be held for four days between January 22-25.

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