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We need to position itself as statesman and not just salesman at World Economic Forum: India Inc

PM Narendra Modi will deliver the opening plenary address at the WEF summit on Tuesday.

We need to position itself as statesman and not just salesman at World Economic Forum: India Inc
Pic courtesy: Twitter/@makeinindia

Davos: Indian CEOs on Monday made a strong pitch for a statesman-like position at World Economic Forum for the country to counter the protectionism and domestic rhetoric likely to be presented by countries like the United States.

Eminent banker Uday Kotak said India needs to understand the subtle difference between sales and marketing and present the India story accordingly while positioning itself in the role of a statesman.

"We need to position ourselves at this forum as a statesman and not just a salesman," he said. Kotak added that it is a very big opportunity for India to demonstrate the 'new India we are building'.

Spicejet CEO Ajay Singh, who has himself steered a major turnaround in a sector like aviation, said India has a great story to tell at Davos and there can be no one better than Prime Minister Narendra Modi to tell this story.

"When we saw Chinese premier Xi Jinping in 2017, there was a lot of focus on China and its natural there would be a lot of focus on India this time," he said. 

Top banker Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank said the Indian economy is seeing broad-based improvement across several sectors and is on track for a robust growth that can be tapped by one and all, PTI reported.

She said Indian economy should clock seven percent growth in the second half of the current fiscal. Kochhar added that reforms have fast-tracked the process of digitisation and formalisation of Indian economy.

On the other hand, noted industrialist Rahul Bajaj, on Monday expressed confidence that PM Modi would "take the world by storm" through his keynote address at the plenary session of the 2018 WEF.

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"PM Modi is an outstanding speaker, and he will take the world by storm. I am delighted that he is coming to attend the forum and looking forward to his crucial address at the plenary session," Bajaj said while speaking to ANI.

Commenting on the current economic conditions, the chairman of the Bajaj Group noted that despite hiccups, the potential of India's demographic dividend can help strengthen the economy.

"I don't want to equate my nation with any individual. However, while I do agree we have problems, I would like to point out that a majority of our population is below the age of 35. If we provide them the necessary education and skills, it will be a really strong demographic dividend," he said.

Will share vision for future engagement with international community at WEF, says PM

PM Modi will deliver the opening plenary address at the WEF summit on Tuesday. The Indian presence will be the largest ever with over 130 participants.

Earlier, on Sunday he had said that he will share his vision for India's future engagements with the international community at WEF.

The PM had also said that India's engagement with the outside world in the recent years has become "truly and effectively multi-dimensional covering the political, economic, people to people, security and other spheres".

In a series of tweets, the PM had said, "At Davos, I look forward to sharing my vision for India's future engagement with the international community. I am confident that these bilateral meetings would be fruitful and give a boost to our relations with these countries and further strengthen economic engagement.

"The existing and emerging challenges to the contemporary international system and global governance architecture deserve serious attention of leaders, governments, policy makers, corporates and civil societies around the world," he had further said.

The summit is also being attended by US President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emannuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May, among others.

Over 3,000 world leaders from business, politics, art, academia and civil society will attend the 48th WEF annual meeting over the next five days in the small ski resort town on snow-covered Alps mountains.

The WEF theme in 2018 is - 'Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World'.

(With Agency inputs)