Davos: World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting began here this evening with call for governments to be ‘responsive and responsible’ in the backdrop of falling trust in all kinds of institutions and various studies painting a dismal picture for India including on inclusive development, rich-poor gap and talent competitiveness.
The 47th edition of the yearly talkfest of rich and powerful began with a welcome address by WEF Founder Klaus Schwab and felicitation of celebrity singer Shakira, among others, for her work towards promoting education, followed by a musical concert by violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter.
The formal sessions will begin tomorrow morning and would be opened by Swiss President Doris Leuthard along with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
A large Indian delegation is also here with over 100 CEOs including Tata group’s next chief N Chandrasekaran for the event, though China’s presence is huge with Jinping being the first Chinese President to attend Davos meet.
Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari and Nirmala Sitharaman will be here along with other senior government officials, including DIPP Secretary Ramesh Abhishek, while Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is also leading a big team from his state.
NITI Aayog Vice President Arvind Panagariya has cancelled his visit but CEO Amitabh Kant would be coming for this global elite meet of leaders from politics, business, academia and civil society among other areas.
The annual meet, coming against the backdrop of uncertainties worldwide on different fronts, would have discussions on global economy and need for a ‘responsive and responsible leadership’.
However, various reports released today did not paint a rosy picture for India and the current state of the world.
India has been ranked 60th among 79 developing economies, below neighbouring China and Pakistan, in the inclusive development index, as per WEF’s ‘Inclusive Growth and Development Report 2017’ released today.
Addressing heads of states and governments from across the world and other leaders, WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said, “We are at the very interesting point today”.
China has a big delegation this year as also from India and other BRIC countries, he said, adding that it is very important that all decision makers have to act and have a vision for the future.