Narendra Modi heads to Davos with a message for the world: All you need to know about World Economic Forum 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has left for Davos, Switzerland today to take part in the World Economic Forum (WEF), a four-day global summit which will see over 3,000 top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, and journalists coming together on a single platform.

Modi is the first India prime minister in 20 years to visit the global summit. The last time an Indian prime minister attended the event was in 1997 when HD Deve Gowda was at the helm.

The global summit is an important platform for India to not only publicise itself as a destination for investment but also to assert its role in geopolitics in Asia the world, and the global fight against climate change. Modi said that he is going to Davos to tell the world about "India's policies, growth potential and the success story of 125 crore Indians".

The fact that Modi is going to be joined by a team of Union ministers including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, railway minister Piyush Goyal, and several top Indian officials, makes the global economic summit an even more important event.

Here's all you need to know about the Davos summit which will take place between 23-26 January.

World Economic Summit will take place in Davos from 23 to 26 January. Reuters

World Economic Summit will take place in Davos from 23 to 26 January. Reuters

What's World Economic Forum?

The World Economic Forum, a non-profit organisation headquartered in Geneva. The WEF Annual Meeting (also known as Davos summit and WEF summit) is an annual gathering of top business leaders, international political leaders, economists, and journalists organised by WEF.  This is the 48th edition of the WEF summit.

Established in 1971, WEF describes itself as an international organisation for public-private cooperation which engages the "foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas" to improve the state of the world.

WEF also hosts several regional meetings in different locations across Africa, East Asia, and Latin America, as well as two recurring events in the United Arab Emirates and China.

What to expect at the summit?

The summit focuses on a different theme every year, with this year's being "creating a shared future in a fractured world". Keeping the theme in mind, the WEF annual gathering will explore the root causes of, and pragmatic solutions for, the manifold political, economic and social fractures facing global society through over 400 sessions and workshops. Of them, 160 sessions will see live webcasts. Art and culture is going to be one of the prominent focus areas at the summit.

The plenary session will be moderated by Professor Klaus Schwa, founder and executive chairman of WEF.

With India hosting the welcome reception for the first time at the Davos summit, the five-day summit will kick-off with desi cuisine and yoga.

The summit will also have several India-focused discussions including "India's role in the world" and how it's using big data in policymaking.

Who's attending?

The 2018 Davos summit expects attendance of over 3,000 participants from 110 countries including CEOs, heads of state and government, entrepreneurs, artists and civil society members, labour unions, media representatives and cultural leaders.

Though most heads of states and governments usually attend the meeting, the guest list is usually kept private until the last minute. And from what we know so far, apart from Modi, US president Donald Trump will be attending the summit. Trump is the first sitting US president after Bill Clinton to attend the summit. French president Emmanuel Macron is also expected to attend the summit.

According to, the summit is going to have an all-female co-chair and will include International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty, Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in Belgium; Fabiola Gianotti, director general of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva; Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE Group; and Chetna Sinha, founder and president of Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation in India.

According to an Economic Times Now report, Indian presence is really high this time with "over 100 CEOs including Mukesh Ambani, Chanda Kochhar, and Uday Kotak, as well asBollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan and filmmaker Karan Johar expected to participate". Former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan is also expected to attend the summit.

Ambani is likely to be accompanied by wife Neeta and Akash and Isha.

"The registered Indian participants also include CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee, as also Gautam Adani, Swami Agnivesh, Rahul Bajaj, Sanjiv Bajaj, N Chandrasekaran, Sajjan Jindal, Anand Mahindra, Lakshmi Mittal and son Aditya, Sunil Mittal and son Kavin, Nandan Nilekani, Indra Nooyi, Azim Premji, Ajay Piramal, Ajay Singh, Naresh Goyal and Tulsi Tant," the report added.

China's Belt Road initiative is also expected to be a key theme in the various discussion and sessions at the summit. Pakistan prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi along with a number of his cabinet colleagues, as well as Pakistan People's Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will also be attending.



Published Date: Jan 22, 2018 12:17 PM | Updated Date: Jan 22, 2018 12:20 PM

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