Desi cuisine, yoga to open WEF Davos meet; PM Modi likely to attend

Desi cuisine and yoga will mark the start of the five-day annual jamboree of the rich and powerful from across the world in the snow-laden Swiss ski resort town of Davos later this month, where India will be in the spotlight as Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to be present for the first time.

The Indian presence is set to be the largest-ever with as many as six Union ministers, two chief ministers, several top government officials and around 100 CEOs (chief executive officers), and among others, already figuring among the registered participants.

While there is no official confirmation as of yet from the World Economic Forum (WEF) or the government on Modi’s presence, sources familiar with the programme planning said he is expected to address a special plenary at the WEF Annual Meeting, which would be attended by over 3,000 top business and political leaders, including 50 government or state heads.

A formal programme for the event, starting January 22, will be announced soon by the WEF for its 48th annual meeting, whose theme will be ‘creating a shared future in a fractured world’.

The welcome reception on the inaugural evening will be hosted by the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which will showcase “India’s exquisite cuisine and age-old yoga heritage, as well as the spirit of a young, innovative New India”.

The apex industry body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will be heading a strong delegation of over 100 industrialists, several government departments, and state governments. 

The official sessions at WEF will also have special India-focused discussions including one on “India’s role in the world”, how it is rethinking economics with the use of big data in policymaking and the country’s role in securing peace and stability in the Asian century.

The registered participants from India include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar and Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Development of North Eastern Region of India Jitendra Singh.

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