The Hindu BusinessLine
Prime Minister, India Inc make collective pitch to attract global investments
Those present at the meeting included Rahul Bajaj, Chanda Kochhar, Uday Kotak, Naresh Goyal, N Chandrasekaran, Anand Mahindra, Sunil Mittal, Ravi Ruia and Chandrajit Bannerjee. The government officials present included S Jaishankar, Amitabh Kant, Ramesh Abhishek and Atul Chaturvedi.
“Together we can! Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Indian CEOs present at the WEF working hand in hand towards a brighter future for the country,” a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson tweeted under #IndiaMeansBusiness, the campaign being run by India in Davos this year.
Modi had also held a roundtable dinner meeting last night with 60 CEOs, including from big global corporates. Modi narrated the India growth story and underlined immense growth opportunities presented by the country for global businesses.
Rewind to 1997
Recalling the huge changes over the past 20 years, Modi said back in 1997, Harry Potter was an unheard name, tweeting was done only by birds and Amazon referred to dense forests in South America.
It was in 1997 that then Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda attended the WEF meet, followed only by Modi this year. The Indian economy has changed significantly since then and so has the rest of the world, Modi noted. He also recalled that when Deve Gowda came here in 1997, the theme of the WEF summit was building a networked society. That theme now looks centuries-old as the world today is about big data and so many other new developments, he said.
Modi said very few people in 1997 had heard of Osama bin Laden and even Harry Potter was an unheard name. “Also, chess players did not have any big fear of the computer while Google was not there in cyber space and Amazon of that time was about dense forests. Tweeting was done by birds at that time and not by humans,” he said.
Meeting with Trudeau
Modi also discussed issues of mutual interest with his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau, who is also here for the WEF meet. Tweeting about the meeting held on the sidelines of the summit, a spokesperson of the MEA said the two leaders discussed issues of mutual interest. “A strategic partnership underpinned by shared values of democracy and pluralism!,” the spokesperson tweeted.
Modi also met Queen Maxima of the Netherlands.
The two leaders discussed steps to further strengthen the bilateral relationship, the MEA spokesperson said. Yesterday, Modi also held a bilateral with Swiss President Alain Berset and is likely to have further meetings here in Davos.
Anindya Bakrie, CEO of Indonesian media company PT Bakrie Global Ventura, said Modi’s remarks were a welcome contrast to US isolationism.
“For developing countries, when we hear the US talking about isolationism it’s a bit concerning. So to have more and more leaders talk about the benefits of globalization is really good,” Bakrie said.
Arun Kumar, Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India, said: “He laid out where India stands in terms of his preference for a multi-polar and multicultural world.”