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FM to lead Indian delegation to WEF's Davos meet

January 21, 2008 20:02 IST

An 80-member strong Indian delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industry will participate in the World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, from 23-27 January 2008.

The delegation comprises CEOs of major Indian companies, media and civil society representatives.

While Finance Minister P Chidambaram will lead the delegation, Sunil Bharti Mittal, president, CII and chairman & Group CEO, Bharti Enterprises, will lead the delegation of over 60 CEOs from India.

The overarching theme of the meeting is 'The power of collaborative innovation.' The Indian contingent is part of the over 2600 participant-strong community that will include 27 heads of state or government, 113 cabinet ministers, along with religious leaders, media leaders and heads of non-governmental organisations from 88 countries.

K V Kamath, vice president, CII and MD and CEO, ICICI Bank Ltd, will be a co-chair of the meeting, along with Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Indra Nooyi, CEO of PepsiCo, among others.

R K Pachauri, chairman of the UN Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel Peace Prize recently, will share the stage with Hamid Karzai, President of Afghanistan, at the opening, where two epochal challenges, climate change & terrorism, will be discussed.

Key World Trade Organisation members, including India, Brazil, the United States and the European Union, will make another informal effort at Davos this week to resolve differences over the contentious issue of agricultural subsidies in the rich nations.

Trade ministers of these crucial members will be joined by WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, who has been making desperate efforts to revive the slow-moving Doha round of negotiations.

The four members, representing opposite interests of developing and developed countries, will also have Japanese and Indonesian trade ministers for talks on the sidelines of annual meeting of the World Economic Forum beginning on January 23 in Davos.

It was at the same venue last year that a complete deadlock, which had marked the much-delayed Doha round, was broken. However, the negotiations, both at the formal and informal levels, again ran into difficulties.

The informal gathering on January 26 will be attended by India's Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, US Trade Representative Susan Schwab, European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, Brazil's Foreign Relations Minister Celso Amorim, Japanese Trade Minister Akira Amari and Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Pangestuthe, the commerce ministry said in a release on Monday.

The Doha round was launched in 2001 and was scheduled to be completed by the end of 2004. Analysts, now, expect the round to complete as late as 2010.

The WEF Annual Meeting will be attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh among others.

A Correspondent