WEF to begin next week; nearly 50 heads of state to attend
Geneva: Indian government and India Inc will be strongly represented at the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting next week at Davos, which would also be attended by nearly 50 government heads including UK's David Cameron, Germany's Angela Merkel and Dmitry Medvedev of Russia.
The Indian delegation, comprising of about 100 business and political leaders, would be headed by Union Minister Kamal Nath, who emerged as one of the key strategists in the passage of contentious retail FDI bill in the Parliament last month.
Nath, Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs, being selected as head of Indian delegation which would include his senior colleague Anand Sharma, also reflects his growing clout in the Congress-led UPA government.
The other representatives of Indian government for the WEF meet, from January 22-27 at the Swiss Alpine resort town of Davos, are Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Minister Praful Patel and Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia.
Anand Mahindra, Rahul Bajaj, Azim Premji, Sunil Bharti Mittal and Lakshmi Mittal are among the top Indian business leaders attending the annual congregation of rich and powerful from across the world.
Those invited for the meeting also include billionaire industrialist Mukesh Ambani and top banker Chanda Kochhar, while chiefs of a host of Indian IT giants including Infosys, TCS, Tech Mahindra, Satyam and HCL group would also be present there.
Announcing the schedule for the meeting, Geneva-based World Economic Forum said today that its 43rd Annual Meet, with the theme of 'Resilient Dynamism', would be attended by over 2,500 participants from more than 100 countries, representing business, government, academia and civil society.
This would include nearly 50 heads of state or government and more than 1,500 business leaders.
Besides Medvedev, Cameron, and Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti will be among the top leaders scheduled to address the meet.
Announcing the annual meeting, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said that the world is "a new reality of sudden shocks and prolonged global economic malaise, particularly in major economies experiencing economic austerity.
"Future growth in this new context requires dynamism, bold vision and even bolder action. Either attribute, resilience or dynamism, alone is insufficient, as leadership in 2013 will require both," he said, while explaining the theme of ‘Resilient Dynamism’.
Global public leaders who will participate in the meeting are Kofi Annan, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurr’a, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, WTO Chief Pascal Lamy and American Senator John McCain.
This year's meeting would be co-chaired by Coca-Cola chief Muhtar Kent, Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris, UBS Chairman Axel Weber, Embraer President Frederico Curado, Toshiba Chairman Atsutoshi Nishida, as also Transparency International's Huguette Labelle.
The other heads of state or government attending the WEF meet are from Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Palestinian Territories, the Philippines, Qatar, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland and Zimbabwe, among others.