India gets starring role at WEF meet in Davos

23 Jan 2018


India on Monday hosted the welcome reception at the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual gathering at Davos in Switzerland with ministers, business leaders and celebrities in attendance.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the President of the Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset, in Davos  

Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the WEF meet in two decades.

More than 130 participants from India are attending the meeting of the rich and the powerful where the official sessions would kick off with the opening plenary address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Railway minister Piyush Goyal, Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu, industrialist Mukesh Ambani, Bollywood cine star Shah Rukh Khan and film maker Karan Johar were among those present at the reception.

Samosa, kachori and a lot of other Indian food items were on the platter at the reception.

Finance minister Arun Jaitley will be skipping the World Economic Forum, to focus on the upcoming Union Budget.

Prime Minister Modi on Monday told top CEOs that India means business and presents exciting opportunity for the global businesses.

Addressing a roundtable before a dinner meet, Modi narrated India's growth story. Under the tagline of "India means business", the roundtable was attended by 40 CEOs of global companies and 20 from India.

Over 3,000 world leaders from business, politics, art, academia and civil society would be attending the meeting whose theme is Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.

After reaching this Alpine town, Modi held a meeting with Swiss President Alain Berset and discussed ways to deepen bilateral ties on the sidelines of the summit.

Earlier, Shah Rukh Khan, Australian actress Cate Blanchett and musician Elton John were presented with the annual Crystal Awards for their respective work towards improving the state of the world.

In a first at the WEF summit, India would also host yoga training sessions for the entire duration of the meeting, while also showcasing Indian heritage and culture.

This year, seven women will be leading the week's discussions including Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and IBM Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ginni Rometty.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is Swiss non-profit foundation and is best known for this annual meeting held at the end of January in the mountain resort town of Davos, Switzerland.

Every year, the meeting brings together top business leaders, political leaders and economists to discuss major issues.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the opening plenary of the forum. Later in the day, actor Shah Rukh Khan will be speaking about women's empowerment in India.

In a special address, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will share his thoughts on the role of business and empowering women.

The first panel sessions focuses on the state of the markets. The five-CEO panel includes Steven Schwartzman of the Blackstone Group, Adena Friedman of Nasdaq, Frank Appel of Deutsche Post DHL Group, Brian Moynihan of Bank of America Corporation and Tidjane Thiam of Credit Suisse AG.

Avalanche alert
Switzerland went on avalanche alert on Monday as fresh snow smothered much of the Alps a day before the World Economic Forum in Davos gots under way.

A bulletin from the SLF Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research in Davos showed a broad band of the mountainous country under Level 5 avalanche danger, the highest on a 1-5 scale.

In Davos, where authorities have evacuated two dozen people from homes most at risk, access roads were still open as crews used controlled explosions to reduce the chance of slides. The sun was due to come back out today.

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