India at Davos: Suresh Prabhu takes forward ‘India means business’ message; meets CEOs at WEF 2018

India at Davos: Suresh Prabhu takes forward ‘India means business’ message; meets CEOs at WEF 2018

At the World Economic Forum, Davos, Suresh Prabhu met a number of stakeholders, CEOs and academicians and also took part in various roundtable meetings. Among many issues, start-ups and boosting farmer’s income were also discussed.

After Narendra Modi’s short visit to the World Economic Forum, Davos, to hard sell India as an investment destination with the message ‘India means business’, it is Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu who is taking forward the initiative at the 5-day-long summit. On Thursday, Suresh Prabhu met a number of stakeholders, CEOs and academicians and also took part in various roundtable meetings. Among many issues, start-ups and boosting farmer’s income were also discussed.

“Chaired a roundtable on Boosting Farmer’s income through AI and tech. Great discussion, novel ideas being attended by leading companies, academicians and professionals,” Suresh Prabhu posted in a tweet.

“To realise our Hon’ble PM’s vision of doubling farmer’s income while AI and Tech is one pillar, I am committed to another pillar which is expanding the exports of Agricultural products.This is important because unless we find new markets, doubling production would halve the incomes,” he added.

On Wednesday, he invited global companies to come and invest in India as he chaired the Country Strategy Dialogue at the World Economic Forum. He also met his Swiss counterpart J N Schneider Ammann and discussed the ongoing negotiations for a free trade agreement between India and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), PTI reported. “A number of obstacles remain, but both sides want to make significant progress in 2018,” Ammann said after the meeting.

Besides, the minister held several meetings with business leaders on the sidelines of the WEF summit, including on the development of multi-modal logistics infrastructure in India with John Aurik, Global CEO of A T Kearny.
He also discussed opportunities around online travel platforms for local tourism with the CEO of Booking.com Gillian Tans besides deliberations about the road ahead for American Tower investments in India with Chairman James Taiclet.

At the Country Strategy Dialogue on India, which was earlier to be chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who could not come to Davos, Prabhu talked about the government initiatives for fourth industrial revolution sectors. He also talked about the ongoing work around 7-8 industries of the future and developing district-level plans to spurt growth.

The dialogue was attended by leading CEOs and Prabhu invited them to come and invest in India and be a part of its inevitable growth story. In his meeting with the Swiss minister, Prabhu said, “I expressed my deep desire to understand the cooperative structure of Switzerland which is one of the best in the world and take back the learning for my country”.

“Switzerland and India share common values on democracy and multilateralism. It is pertinent for us both to get together to save WTO. We don’t want to take sides but take everybody along,” he added.