World Economic Forum – Time to deliver


In the past week, all the world leaders met in Davos under the umbrella of World Economic Forum. PM Modi was the first to attend WEF since Mr. Deve Gowda in 1997. This suggests that all was not good between India and WEF before. There did exist a political twist history between us and WEF. But nothing worth to dwell in the past, let’s focus on why did WEF extend a hand to us after 2 decades?

The Indian diaspora abroad is increasing and if we are reading the news regularly, we can see that many Indian origin born are occupying vital designations in the government structure in various countries.

Given this, also the ruling party in our country is in power in 19 states including its allies. Our PM also has a distinct characteristic to his predecessor of being a powerful orator. The control PM exudes over the system adds to his flair on why people want to listen him in the first place. He did draw a full house in Davos and also was the first speaker in plenary session. This tells us the story about how India has traversed in the recent years and grown its global stature.

There is also another take on this event. What is the importance of this event at this point in time?

This year’s World Economic Forum was focused on ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’. This statement itself suggests that macro-economic variables or global economy still feels the hiccups.The global economy is suffering from Brexit, working age people in Europe are falling behind. Apart from this, inorganic growth in many countries worries its governments too. The stock markets have been bullish, no oil shocks yet and the most important is lack of growth in jobs.

India and China suffer from this too.

Why I highlight India and China is because both the countries have shared the world spotlight on and off and have been involved in an inevitable race of being the growth engine of the world.

The world has a sore spot for the dragon because of its policies. China has almost treated all the world as a dumping ground for it’s over excessive manufacturing capacity. It suffers from accusations like exploitation of others resources for its own benefit and 2 faced behaviour. What happened in Doklam shows its habit of creating unwanted stir and disturbing peace in the region.The assertiveness India showed in Doklam sent a clear message across the world that India was the answer to China.

Not to say all is good in India, we also have some key issues to address. Our economy is still feeling the jitters of demonetization and issues of GST have made it more difficult. Jobless growth has been a major issue despite the government pushing for “Make in India”.

In Davos, the PM said that the opposite of globalisation is happening which is equally severe. He is right on point here as, given the size of our workforce, we need to bring in investment from outside too. The 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 start-ups has also been a great step in the same direction.

He also revealed his vision for the economy of the country to grow to $5 trillion by 2025. This is an ambitious target, given India has to double its GDP in 8 years. But in reality, the job market hasn’t been able to pick up at all.

PM is also trying to turn around the damage done by demonetization and GST. He is now trying to turn around the working of the government, to make it more citizen friendly and help resume a dialogue between the citizens and the government, which has taken a big hit because of unchecked activities of the extremists.

PM 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.” Adding to that he further 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.” This can be supported by the jump of 30 places for India in ease of doing business.

So, DAVOS was a perfect platform again, to woo countries, businessmen, investors to come and invest in new India.Theannual global business meet had an attendance of 70 head of states, 38 heads of major international organizations and approx. 2,000 CEOs.

What India did was pitch itself as a platform for growth. So, did other countries. The vital point to understand here is that we need to check and refrain from over committing and under delivering. The world might be vouching for us right now, but in order to maintain it, we need to deliver.