Narendra Modi to attend WEF in January, may hardsell India's ease of doing business rank

In January, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take a high powered delegation to the Swiss ski resort of Davos to attend and address the World Economic Forum meet, an annual gathering of global leaders that takes up recent issues of economy, geopolitics and political stalemates for discussion.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and India’s first full-time woman Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will form part of the big entourage. Jaitley is heading the all-powerful GST Council that has been spearheading the formulation and launch of the goods and services tax, India's biggest taxation reform that has brought in single nationwide sales tax.

Every year the global leaders’ summit has on its agenda burning issues that in a way influence world’s geopolitics, economic growth of countries and their development.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP.

According to a report on, Modi will address a special plenary “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World” which is the theme of the WEF’s 48th four-day annual summit ending on 26 January.

Modi is embarking on the WEF visit at a time when, back home, his one-off policy initiatives like demonetisation and the GST have drawn flak from various quarters. India’s economic growth took a beating with the GDP coming in at a three-year low of 5.7 percent in June. The rollout of GST on 1 July has also impacted businesses due to cumbersome processes involved in tax reform.

However, despite these initial hiccups in the implementation, the prime minister will try to tell India’s success story, said the report in Moneycontrol. Modi’s speech may highlight India jumping 30 ranks in the World Bank’s ‘ease of doing business’ index from 130 earlier to 100th rank now.

The WB’s rankings tests economies on business-friendliness, procedural ease, regulatory architecture and absence of bureaucratic red tape. There have been media reports saying the government is working to further improve the rank. Modi will be the second Indian prime minister in 20 years to attend the WEF event. Former prime minister HD Devegowda had participated the do in 1997.

Updated Date: Nov 13, 2017 13:45 PM

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