India an open economy, PM Narendra Modi to tell World Economic Forum


India an open economy, PM Narendra Modi to tell World Economic Forum

NEW DELHI: India is an open economy and ready for global investments across sectors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will tell world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week. In first visit by an Indian PM since 1997, Modi will be in Davos on January 22-23 and address the opening plenary of the WEF.

"It will be a 24-hour visit but a very focused one," said MEA secretary Vijay Gokhale at an official briefing in New Delhi on Friday. "Our economy has expanded significantly since the last time an Indian prime minister went to Davos and therefore this visit is very important," Gokhale said. 

"In addition to the keynote address, the PM will also have bilateral meeting with Swiss president Alain Berset. There will be scope for pull asides, details of which are being worked out. This will be a very significant visit and will give a message about our engagements with the world," he said. 

"The central message that the PM will give is that India is open and ready to do business in a big way. We want to tell the world to invest in India. PM's message will be about India being an economy that can be an engine of global growth. We want others to participate in our growth and want to participate in others' growth as well," he added. 

When asked why the PM has chosen to go to Davos, Gokhale said, "my sense is that PM wanted things to change on the ground before speaking about them. We have already opened our economy and it is no more the case that we are going to do it." 

Industrial Policy and Promotion secretary Ramesh Abhishek said the PM will also host a round table dinner on January 22 for 60 top CEOs including 40 from global corporates and 20 from India. 

They will include CEOs of Airbus, HitachiBSE 1.73 %, BAE Systems and IBM. Modi will also have an interaction with 120 members of the investor community at WEF on January 23 which will include heads of General Motors, Salesforce nd Royal Dutch Shell, Nestle and JP Morgan. DIPP will also host a welcome reception for the WEF members, where 1,500 people are expected. "We will showcase India's progress while also giving a taste of Indian cuisine as well as of Indian culture and heritage." 

Six ministers including finance minister Arun Jaitley will address three sessions on January 24. Suresh Prabhu will have nine sessions over three days, Dharmendra Pradhan five sessions, Piyush Goyal 10. Jitendra Singh will have three and MJ Akbar two. There will also be a large number of round table including on financial inclusion in India. Abhishek said reforms undertaken in the last few years will be showcased at Davos.

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