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PM warns against protectionism at his WEF 2018 address in Davos

If you want wealth and wellness, come to India, the Prime Minister said in a bid to draw foreign investments in the country. | January 23, 2018 | Updated 20:24 IST
PM warns against protectionism at his WEF 2018 address in Davos
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday delivered the keynote address at the World Economic Forum's opening plenary session in Davos. In the very first session at WEF 2018, PM Modi spoke on big ticket reforms that his government has introduced in the last three years. "India has gotten rid of outdated 1400 laws in 3 years," PM Modi said.

Speaking to a packed hall at WEF Davos, Prime Minister listed out three major challenges the world is facing right now. PM Modi highlighted the need to tackle issues like climate change, terrorism and protectionism. Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister in two decades to attend the WEF.

In a bid to woo foreign investors, the Prime Minister said India has done away with 1400 archaic laws which were creating hurdles in starting business. "If you want wealth and wellness, come to India. If you want peace and prosperity, come to India," PM Modi told the gathering of world's richest people.

PM Modi spoke on the challenges of climate change. "Glaciers are melting, Arctic sea ice is declining, some island are about to sink, extreme weather has become common," PM Modi said. PM Modi said that the world is facing a big obstacle in terms of countries turning self-centered. Many countries who preach globalisation have chosen to remain self-centered. This is equal to terror and climate change, and the sheen of globalisation is slowly fading.

Voicing his concerns on the global challenges, PM Modi said we have to ask if economic progress at the cost of environment degradation is the real progress. Why are we not thinking about these challenges? In India, we have set a target to produce 175 gigawatt renewable energy by 2022. Total 60 gigawatt of the desired target has already been achieved. 

In 2016, India and France united to make an organisation to tackle these challenges and formed International Solar Alliance. This year, French President Emmanuel Macron and the other alliance leaders would come to India to take part in its first international meet in March, Prime Minister added.

On Monday, the Prime Minister met with 60 CEOs which included 40 CEOs from countries around the world. PM Modi's Davos visit comes at a time when US President Donald Trump has advocated for protectionist policies.

Commenting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi's keynote speech, Kotak Mahindra Bank Chairman Uday Kotak said, "A fair amount has been said on terrorism and climate change. I was enthused when PM mentioned protectionism. I look at PM's speech today as that of a statesman not a salesman." 

Here are the latest updates from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at WEF opening session:

07:42 pm: PM Modi spoke like a global leader and not just as Prime Minister of India: SBI Chairman Rajnish Kumar

07:00 pm: I think it was an incredibly powerful message. To use a cricket analogy, this was India's moment at Davos and as the team captain, the Prime Minister hit not just one six but many sixes: SpiceJet CEO Ajay Singh

05:03 pm: It is proud moment for India. PM has invited leaders from across the world to invest in India. India can apply cement to a fractured world: Sunil Bharti Mittal

05:00 pm: The way PM spoke about sustainability and wealth is incredible: Vijay Shekhar Sharma of Paytm

04:48 pm: If you want peace and prosperity, come to India

04:45 pm: If you want wealth and wellness, come to India

04:40 pm: In India, Democracy, demography and dynamism are creating development and shaping our destiny: PM Modi

04:38 pm: Technology and digital revolution will help us combat poverty and unemployment in a new way: PM Modi

04:30 pm: More than 1400 archaic laws which were creating hurdles in starting business in India have been abolished: PM Modi 

04:28 pm: The Indian youths were earlier tied due to poor policies. But now situation has changed, and in three years big changes have been happening in India. Now, India's youth is eyeing for $5 trillain economy by 2025, and they are capable in doing this: PM Modi

04:25 pm: The motto of my Government is 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas': PM Modi

04:22 pm: We in India are proud of our democracy and diversity: PM Modi

04:15 pm: Terrorism is dangerous. Worse is when people say there is a difference between 'good' and 'bad' terror. It is painful to see some youngsters getting radicalised: PM Modi

04:10 pm: As Indian representative here at WEF, it's a very urgent topic for me. We Indians believe in joining mankind not dividing them. For thousands years, we have been, as Prof Klaus Schwab said, giving the message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' (the whole world is one family). The message of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' is more relevant than ever today.

04:03 pm: Today we live in the time of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots. In 1997, very few people had known about Harry Porter or Osama Bin Laden. At that time, the Google was yet to be born. In 1997, if you had searched about Amazon you would have found rivers and jungles. During that time, tweeting was the habit of birds and not humans. 

04:00 pm: The last time an Indian Prime Minister came to Davos was in 1997 when PM Deve Gowda had visited. In 1997 India's GDP was a little over $400 billion. After 2 deacdes, it is almost 6 times.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in Davos on Monday to attend the 48th annual meet of the World Economic Forum (WEF). PM Modi reiterated India's role in the world economy in his opening address. Last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping had delivered the keynote address at the World Economic Forum.

Indian delegation, which is the fourth largest group at WEF Davos 2018, includes top industrialists including Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal and JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal, Anand Mahindra of Mahindra & Mahindra. Tata Sons CEO N Chandrasekaran will also attend the gathering.

India Inc. has made a strong pitch for a statesman like position for the country to counter the protectionism and domestic rhetoric likely to be presented by countries like the US. Kotak Mahindra Bank Chairman Uday Kotak said on Monday that India needs to understand the subtle difference between sales and marketing, and presents the India story accordingly while positioning itself in the role of a statesman.

For the first time ever, India has jumped 30 positions to become the top 100th country in terms of ease of doing business ranking. This was announced by the World Bank Group's latest 'Doing Business 2018: Reforming to Create Jobs' report in Delhi on October 2017. The World Bank attributed the change in India ranking to the sustained business reforms. India also got a thumbs up from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which reaffirmed that India's economy is projected to grow by 7.4 per cent in the next fiscal year.

Before leaving for the WEF summit in Davos, the prime minister in a series of tweets, said that he looks forward to sharing his vision for India's future engagement with the international community. The theme at the WEF forum this year is 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World'.

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