Indian PM Modi sweeps Davos, rolls out red carpet for global investorsby Opinion Express January 24, 2018 0 comments
Modi warned Davos delegates about the rising tide of protectionism, pledges to remove it in India
Confident India and its leader deliver the opening speech at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Indian leader Narendra Modi has warned that globalisation is under threat. Modi told delegates at the Swiss resort on Tuesday that “forces of protectionism are raising their heads” against international trade and commerce. “Bilateral and multilateral trade negotiations have come to a kind of standstill,” he said.
Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit a WEF summit in more than two decades, called for reform of international institutions, continued commitment to a rules-based world order and greater focus on inclusivity in the global economy during his address.
The focus of this year’s edition of the annual Davos meeting is on creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World, according to the Geneva based foundation’s website. Modi praised India, home to some 1.2 billion people, for its commitment to democracy and diversity. “For a society with diverse religions, cultures, languages, attires and cuisines, democracy is not just a political system but a way of living,” he said, adding that inclusion is the “main principle” of his government.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of international rights group Human Rights Watch, has accused Modi of failing to address the “growing populist intolerance and exclusion” occurring in a number of countries worldwide, including India. Critics of the Davos summits suggest the annual WEF meeting serves as little more than a “talking shop” for the global elite.
Meanwhile Oxfam International in a report criticizes Indian government policy, suggesting that 1% of rich in India controls 73% of country’s wealth. WEF attendees “have had many years now of handwriting about the growing gap between rich and poor, and very little to show for it … This is clearly because business as usual is good business for those at the top”, A report by Oxfam, published in advance of the Davos summit, has revealed that half of the world’s population received no share of all wealth created globally in 2017. Instead, billionaires increased their wealth by $762bn last year, enough to end “global extreme poverty seven times over”, the UK-based charity’s annual inequality report said. Off course Modi government has a task in hand to check this wealth concentration for select few and its distribution among billion people equally.
Inputs from Kapil Dudakia UK Bureau Chief Opinion Express from Devos