India hosts welcome reception at World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos: All eyes on Narendra Modi's opening address

India hosted the welcome reception at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual gathering with ministers, business leaders and celebrities in attendance on Tuesday. More than 130 participants from India will be attending the meeting of the rich and the powerful where the official sessions would kick off with the opening plenary address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Railway Minister Piyush Goyal, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, industrialist Mukesh Ambani, actor Shah Rukh Khan and film maker Karan Johar, among others, were present at the reception. Samosa, kachori and a lot of other Indian food items were on the platter at the reception.

After reaching this Alpine town, Modi held a meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset and discussed ways to deepen bilateral ties on the sidelines of the summit. Berset greeted Modi with a warm handshake in this town in the Swiss Alps before leading the Indian leader to the meeting. Over 3,000 world leaders from business, politics, art, academia and civil society would be attending the meeting whose theme is 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World'.

On Monday, Shah Rukh, Australian actress Cate Blanchett and legendary musician Elton John were presented with the annual 'Crystal Awards' for their respective work towards improving the state of the world. In a first at the WEF summit, India would also host yoga training sessions for the entire duration of the meeting, while also showcasing Indian heritage and culture.

India means business, Modi tells CEO

Modi told top CEOs that India means business and presents exciting opportunity for the global businesses. Addressing a roundtable before a dinner meet, Modi narrated India's growth story.

He was accompanied by top government officials including Vijay Gokhale, Jai Shankar and Ramesh Abhishek. Under the tagline of "India means business", the roundtable was attended by 40 CEOs of global companies and 20 from India. After the meeting, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted about Modi narrating India's growth story and presenting exciting opportunities for global business in India at Davos.

The spokesperson also tweeted that the prime minister "hosted a roundtable meeting with CEOs of top global companies". This is Modi's second visit to Switzerland in nearly two years after his visit in June 2016. Modi is the first Prime Minister from India to participate in a forum meeting in two decades after the then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda in 1997.

On Sunday, the prime minister, in a series of tweets spoke about India's agenda at the global summit. "I look forward to my first visit to the World Economic Forum at Davos, at the invitation of India’s good friend and Founder of the WEF, Prof Klaus Schwab. The theme of the Forum, 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World' is both thoughtful and apt."

"The existing and emerging challenges to the contemporary international system and global governance architecture deserve serious attention of leaders, governments, policy makers, corporates and civil societies around the world."

The main event in Davos will be the keynote speech of Modi at the plenary session on Tuesday. Modi will interact with 120 members of the International Business Council, which is a part of the World Economic Forum. Modi, in the course of his 24-hour visit to Davos, is also scheduled to hold a bilateral meeting with Sweden Prime Minister Stefan Lofven on Tuesday.

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Updated Date: Jan 23, 2018 07:20:11 IST