Narendra Modi will lead biggest Indian contingent to Davos WEF; over 100 top industry captains to attend

Ahead of the four-day World Economic Forum meet at Davos starting 23 January, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley met with top industry honchos like Sunil Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Chanda Kochhar, managing director of ICICI Bank among others. The meeting was held to shape the agenda for the Davos meet, a Financial Express report said. Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu was also present at the meeting.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to Switzerland on 22 January, leading the biggest Indian contingent of over 100 delegates to Switzerland, the external affairs ministry had said on Monday. This will be the first participation by an Indian prime minister in the WEF in over two decades. In 1997, the then prime minister H D Deve Gowda had attended the Davos Summit.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI image

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. PTI image

Over 3,000 leaders including CEOs, heads of state and government, artists and civil society members, representing over 100 countries would gather to discuss global, regional and industry agendas, according to the WEF. Even senior executives of key global corporations, government officials, artistes, and civil society members from across 120 nations are expected to attend. Besides Jaitley and Prabhu, railways minister Piyush Goyal, petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan and minister of state for external affairs MJ Akbar and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region of India Jitendra Singh.

US President Donald Trump will attend the forum as well opening up a distinct possibility of a meeting with Modi. This would be for the first time in 18 years that a US president would be attending an annual gathering of global economic leaders.

Others expected to be present at the elite global gathering are 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.

The prime minister will deliver the keynote speech on 23 January at the plenary session of the forum in Davos - Klosters, Switzerland. He will also deliver a keynote address at the event and also hold a bilateral meeting with Swiss Confederation president Alain Berset. India has been tasked with hosting the welcome reception at the world leaders’ event in Davos, with Indian foods and yoga expected to make their presence felt there.

The Davos Annual Meeting of WEF will conclude on 26 January.

National logistics plan

The commerce ministry is working on a national logistics plan to facilitate unrestricted movement of goods across the country to add to India's trade competitiveness, said a senior official, the FE report said. The recently-established logistics division in the commerce ministry is discussing the matter with various other ministries, including railways, roadways, shipping and civil aviation, for this purpose.

Already, in a move to develop an integrated logistics framework, including industrial parks, cold chains and warehousing facilities, the government has accorded infrastructure status to the logistics sector. This will enable the industry to access cheaper finances.

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Updated Date: Jan 10, 2018 10:41 AM

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