Davos, Feb 01: Global business and political leaders
on Sunday left the Alpine Swiss resort on a gloomy note after five
days of brainstorming, with a warning that protectionist
efforts could make the situation worse, as 18 countries
including India decided against trade barriers.
At the five-day meeting of corporate and political
leaders at Davos, the emerging BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India,
China) economies articulated the worries of the developing
nations and marked their strong presence telling the Americans
and others in the west how their business models turned into
bubbles, which were to burst anyway.
"History is witness that whenever countries try to prop
up protectionism, it intensifies depression," Commerce and
Industry Minister Kamal Nath said.
Trade ministers of key WTO members who met here on the
sidelines of the World Economic Forum conclave also resolved
to give priority to efforts to reach a deal under the
much-delayed Doha Round and guard against protectionism.
The issue of the financial fraud at Satyam Computer came
up for major discussion at the WEF.
Assuring the global audience that India`s regulatory
systems are strong, the country`s government and corporate
leaders described the multi-crore Satyam scandal as a one-off
incident and said bigger frauds have happened in other
Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia
said that while Satyam has been a negative development, the
Indian authorities have taken corrective action.
Indian leaders said the country cannot be judged just by
the Satyam episode.
Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath, Montek Singh
Ahluwalia, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, Rajya
Sabha MP N K Singh and India Brand Equity Foundation CEO
Aparna Dutt Sharma -- all present at the WEF meeting -- did
not allow themselves to be put on the defensive on the Satyam
The Mahindra and Mahindra group, with major interests in
IT, today said it will look at acquiring the troubled Satyam
Computer Services if it finds a strategic value in the deal.
"We have a major IT company. We are watching the
situation with interest. If there is anything of strategic
value, clearly we will be looking at it," M&M Vice-Chairman
and Managing Director Anand Mahindra said on the sidelines
of the World Economic Forum meeting here.
Mahindra, who was one of the co-chairs of the meeting,
wanted a clear indication from the Obama administration as to
where America stands in terms of protectionism.
"The most important thing is what Obama will do on
protectionism. Everyone is interpreting Obama`s word. I
believe the US needs to make a very strong statement where it
stands," he said participating in the concluding session.
Legendary Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan has been
honoured with the World Economic Forum`s Crystal Award at
Davos for his contribution to the world of cinema. Bachchan
received the award along with another Indian artist - Mallika
Sarabhai - a Kuchipudi and Bharatnatyam danseuse.