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WEF 2018: What is World Economic Forum, why it's important for India?

BusinessToday.in     January 21, 2018

The World Economic Forum (WEF) was established as a not-for-profit foundation in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1971. The organization aims to improve the world through public-private cooperation by engaging the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global agendas. Not tied to any special interests, the forum strives to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.

Since the global event is held in the Alpine resort town of Davos, the event is colloquially called Davos. The forum holds four major annual meetings in a year. Around 3,000 delegates from over 120 countries will attend this year's event that aims to rededicate leaders to developing a 'shared narrative to create a shared future in a fractured world'.

How does forum work?

Through meetings, the WEF gives participants opportunity to discuss global issues. The forum has built world-class research capabilities, producing cutting-edge data on some of the world's most significant issues like competitiveness, gender parity and global information technology. The programme, initiatives and projects of the meeting are focused on creating a shared future. This year's WEF has all-female list of co-chairs -IMF chief Christine Lagarde, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; Norway's PM Erna Solberg, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general secretary (Belgium) Sharan Burrow; Fabiola Gianotti, director general of the European Organization 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.

Why WEF is important for India?

Prime Minister Narendra Modi would lead the largest Indian contingent of over 100 delegates to Switzerland during this year's four-day World Economic Forum. The Prime Minister will deliver a keynote address on January 23 before holding a bilateral meeting with Swiss Confederation president Alain Berset. According to Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum, India's unique demographic dividend, rising tide of entrepreneurial spirit, breakthrough innovations, and structural reforms have enhanced India's long-term economic outlook. He adds the time is right for India to amplify its global influence and accelerate the development of robust and resilient economic, social and political foundations.

From the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, demonetization to GST (Goods and Services Tax) and FDI, India has taken a series of steps to formalise the economy. For this, India has received positive feedback from international credit rating agencies like Moody's and S&P. On the global front, India has shown its commitment towards Paris Climate Deal. This year's World Economic Forum would provide a unique opportunity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi tell the world that India is ready to reap the benefits of its reforms process, and that foreign investors could also become a part of this process.


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