DAVOS: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday cautioned against the rising chorus of protectionism in a number of countries around the world and termed such a tendency to be as much a threat as terrorism or climate change.
He began his address by noting that India's economy has grown significantly since the last time an Indian PM addressed the gathering.
"Last time an Indian PM came to Davos was in 1997 when Deve Gowda ji had come. That time our GDP was little more than 400 billion dollars, now it's more than six times that figure," he said.
Dwelling on the theme of this year's WEF - 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world' - PM Modi said, "New powers are changing the balance between economic and political strength. This is indicating a change in future of the world. The world is facing challenges in maintaining peace, stability and security."
He had a word of caution against the rising voice of protectionism. "Many societies and countries are becoming self-centred. It seems that globalisation, as opposed to its definition, is shrinking. Such misplaced preferences can't be considered any lesser threat than terrorism or climate change. We must admit shine of globalisation is fading," he said.
In his speech, PM Modi characterised terrorism and climate change to the be the biggest threats the world faces. "Climate change is a huge threat right now, Snow in the Arctic is melting, many islands are sinking or are about to ink… Terrorism is dangerous. Worse is when people say there is a difference between 'good' and 'bad' terror," he said.
PM Modi also used the stage to affirm India's growing role the systems of global governance, saying India would always be a unifying and harmonising force in the world thanks to its own diversity.