As the prestigious WEF annual meeting begins in this Swiss resort town, India will look at proving its mettle as ‘bright spot’ in a gloomy global economy marred by rout in China even as surveys and studies here raise doubts about its competitiveness on talent, business environment and various other fronts.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, senior government functionaries and corporate leaders from India would be participating in this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meet.
The theme of this year’s meet is ‘Mastering fourth Industrial revolution’.
In a white paper, financial services major UBS said developed economies likely to benefit while emerging economies likely to suffer in Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Apart from official sessions, Jaitley would be meeting global CEOs on the sidelines of the summit.
Some of the previously expected participants from India, including those from government and businesses, are likely to give this year’s event a miss.
Union Ministers Piyush Goyal, Nirmala Sitharaman, DIPP Secretary Amitabh Kant and industrialist Anil Ambani is unlikely to attend the meet.
Many other corporate honchos including Cyrus Mistry, Anand Mahindra and Rahul Bajaj have already arrived here.
Hindustan Powerprojects’s Chairman Ratul Puri said India Inc is taking developmental agenda to the WEF meet, adding that recent policy measures and political will exhibited by the Indian government has caught the eyes of the business community.
"There is a positive sentiment and all pieces are almost set," he noted.
Realty consultancy JLL India Chairman and Country Head Anuj Puri said there is a growing global awareness about India’s importance in the world order as the world waits for the country to pick up the slack from a slowing China and become the next investment and business powerhouse.
When it comes to India, gender and income inequality are seen as among the areas of concern.
Earlier in the day, Chandrababu Naidu said he would elaborate on opportunities in Andhra Pradesh at an investors’ meet in Zurich before heading to Davos.
"Off to Zurich to take part in the Investors Meet before I head to Davos for the WEF Annual Summit. Will elaborate on opportunity in AP," he tweeted.
Mirroring an acute shortage of skilled labour force and difficult business conditions, India has fallen 11 places to rank 89th on a global index of talent competitiveness.