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WEF to hold annual summit on its own, open office in India

business Updated: May 14, 2012 21:07 IST
HT Correspondent

India will host its first World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in November this year as the Geneva-based body has decided to re-brand the annual India Economic Summit. It will also host the three-day event on its own.

The WEF has also decided to open its full-fledged office in India, only the fourth outside Geneva, in the wake of the country’s growing economic clout. At present, it has offices in New York, Beijing and Tokyo.

“We are opening an office to engage more deeply with the country and carry out our activities,” said Sarita Nayyar, managing director, WEF, USA. "The new name is more reflective of India's position in the world. India is an important political and economic partner. It is not just about India but about India and the role it is playing in the global landscape."

The theme for the summit to be held between November 6-8 in Gurgaon would be From Deliberation to Transformation. The economic relationship between India and Pakistan would also figure in the summit, as would an entire chapter on women.

“We would deliberate on issues like human capital development and governance,” said Sushant Palakurthi Rao, senior director and head of Asia, WEF. “Besides, we would discuss food security issues as we are embarking on some significant projects in India in this area.”

The repositioning of the meeting forms part of a broader strategic realignment of the forum’s activities in the South Asian region and will consolidate the forum’s commitment to its important partnership in India by the establishment of the forum’s physical presence in India in 2013. This realignment also brings the meeting into line with the WEF’s other events around the world.

“India holds the forum’s second-largest base of member companies behind the US and ahead of China and Germany.” said Rao. “As South Asia becomes more integrated into the global economy, the need for genuine, multistakeholder engagement becomes more profound. We believe this expansion and realignment of our activities is a reflection of the new reality and is underlined by our ongoing collaboration with CII and other partners in business, government and civil society.”

CII director-general Chandrajit banerjee said that the association with WEF continues.