PM Narendra Modi Hardsells India at the World Economic Forum Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to give the plenary speech at the WEF

By Sanchita Dash

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On Tuesday morning, from the likes of Chanda Kochchar of ICICI Bank to Vijay Shekhar Sharma, PayTM, top industrialists across the country waited with bated breath as the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the stage at the World Economic Forum at Davos. The first Indian Prime Minister to give the plenary speech at the WEF, he is also the first to attend the Davos summit in 20 years, since HD Deve Gowda's visit in 1997.

As the country prepares for the general elections in 2019, Modi in his last year as Prime Minister pitched Indian business opportunities to investors and leaders of top corporates globally, in an attempt to create a gateway for foreign investments into India.

Even though Opposition leaders managed to sneak in remarks about India's economic condition, Modi left no stone unturned to pitch India on a global stage and went on record to say that India is the only good news in the gloomy world.Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a jibe at Prime Minister in one of his tweets saying, Dear PM, Welcome to Switzerland! Please tell DAVOS why 1% of India's population gets 73% of its wealth? I'm attaching a report for your ready reference.

Referring to World Economic Forum's theme "Creating a shared future in a fractured world", Modi reiterated his one India vision, by calling out all communities to come together for growth.

At the World Economic Forum, India also had one of its highest numbers of representatives this year, ranging from investors, industrialists and entrepreneurs alike. Meanwhile, back home, enthusiasts were seen flooding social media with snippets from Modi's inspiring and applauding his efforts to transform India's image at a global platform.

Removing Red tape, Laying Out Red Carpet

It's no news that the Modi government has been pushing for foreign companies to make their way into India and boost the businesses here while also providing employment. Approval of FDI in startups has also been a great step in the same direction.

With the general elections around the corner, Modi is also trying to turn around the damage done by demonetization and GST, by making space for India at the global stage. Many also noted that the PM is now trying to bridge the relationship between citizens and the government, trying to make the government more and more citizen friendly.

PM Modi, who has been known to pave the way for a Digital India, while pushing start-ups to come to the forefront, also said that with entrepreneurship, India's youth has turned from being a job seeker to be a job giver. He also added, "Global data flow has assumed significance in the modern world and whoever manages to control it will rule the world."

When the Modi government came to power, they were leading a fight against corruption. And at the global stage too, Modi said, "We are removing red tape and laying out the red carpet. We are doing away with archaic laws & making it easier for companies to do business in India."

Modi stated that India will be a $5 trillion economy by 2025. In a speech that was also accompanied by a lot of laughs, Modi said that India is the only good news in today's gloomy world.

Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas

As a part of his speech at the plenary session, PM Modi spoke about Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas saying that we have to bring together all communities to walk on the path of success. Giving a literary twist to the speech, he even quoted legendary poet Rabindranath Tagore's poem, "a heaven of freedom where the world is not divided by narrow domestic walls." He urged the members of the audience to turn the same into reality while adding that India will always push for unity and harmonising force.

Protectionism in Trade Practices

Speaking at the Forum, Modi termed protectionism in trade practices as the reversal of globalization. He identified it as a major threat in the growth of global economy. He also said that various types of tariff and non-tariff barriers imposed on cross-border trade will affect the global supply chain. He asserted that multilateral trade agreements should be encouraged globally.

Playing The Trump Card

Everyone has knowledge about US President Donald Trump's refusal to believe climate change is real. However, PM Modi took a strong stand on climate change adding that India is with other nations of the world that agree to say that climate change is one of the biggest threats we face today. He went on to speak about glaciers melting, islands drowning, extreme weather events including the unprecedented snow at Davos, where the WEF is taking place.

He added that the "artificial distinction" made by some people between "good and bad terrorists is equally dangerous as terrorism". He said that in an interconnected world this new trend of some world leaders starting to look within is a cause for great concern.

With additional inputs from Komal Nathani

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 


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