Free Press Journal

PM Narendra Modi ready to hard sell India at the World Economic Forum in Davos


PTI Photo by Atul Yadav

Seven months after the third edition of the International Yoga Day celebrations received an overwhelming response across continents on June 21, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is all set to hard sell India’s economic rise along with Yoga and exclusive Indian cuisine at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, an alpine town in Switzerland. The WEF starts on January 23.

Davos is the largest resort in the Alps for mountain holidays, sport and conferences. At 1560 m, it is the highest town in the Alps and a high-altitude health resort with a long tradition. The Indian government is flying two Yoga experts who will offer two Yoga classes every day and facilities will be offered at Alps.

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Modi will be accompanied by six ministers from India who will be participating in various sessions at the World Economic Forum. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

To be attended by over 3,000 global leaders, including CEOs, heads of state and government, artists and civil society members, the 48th annual meeting of WEF will conclude on January 26. This year’s keynote address will be delivered by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, will deliver a keynote address before the close of the meeting. India will be represented at Davos by a Prime Minister after 20 years.

To execute its Yoga agenda effectively, the Indian government is taking to Davos two Yoga Acharyas to teach Yoga to people at WEF. At a briefing of the External Affairs Ministry on Friday, Mr Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Promotion and Policy, said, “We have provided facilities of doing Yoga by taking two Acharyas from here and this is also part of the World Economic Forum programme. This is showcasing of our soft power.”

The idea of International Yoga Day was proposed by Prime Minister Modi at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly on September 27, 2014. Modi who is known to practice Yoga every day has been demonstrating Yoga asanas on Yoga Day celebrations in India. The Prime Minister believes that Yoga is playing an extremely important role in connecting the world with India.

Secretary (Economic Relations), MEA, Vijay Gokhale explained, “ India’s attractiveness as an economy has grown where there is a quantum jump in our rankings in multiple indices and in the context of the various reforms that the government has announced, particularly in the last one year. The focus therefore for our Prime Minister is to articulate his vision of how he sees the Indian economy is contributing not just to domestic improvement for the benefit of the people of India but also on a global scale.”

Mr Gokhale said that the message that the Prime Minister will deliver at the WEF meeting is India is on course to be one of the fastest growing countries in the world in terms of GDP. “ We have to speak about India’s achievements in the past few years and the opportunities that India presents to global businesses. We have a lot to speak about to the international community. The message that we essentially are going to deliver is that we are an open economy. We have done significant reforms. We offer a market. We offer talent and we would like the world to come and invest in this country. And, I think, that is the centrality of this message and it is about India.”