Davos gets ready for Modi, giant billboards of PM to greet world leaders

Davos Summit 2018 Updated: Jan 18, 2018 16:57 IST
Sanchita Sharma
Sanchita Sharma
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Davos,World Economic Forum,Narendra Modi

This file photo shows the logo of the World Economic Forum on the third day of the forum's annual meeting in Davos.(AFP File Photo)

Giant billboards of Prime Minister Narendra Modi telling the world that India means business will greet 70 heads of state and 38 global CEOs at the World Economic Forum meet from January 23 to 26 in Davos, a Swiss resort that hosts 3,000 guests for the world’s most exclusive annual networking party.

India has run brand campaigns to position the country as an investment destination in the past — most famously in 2006 as the world’s fastest-growing free market democracy. But this is the first time the image of Modi as the country’s brand ambassador will feature on billboards. The first Indian Prime Minister to attend Davos in two decades — after HD Deve Gowda in 1997 — Modi is expected to advance his “India means business” campaign. He will highlight his government’s initiatives on increasing transparency, bankruptcy laws, ease of doing business, the Goods and Services Tax, and allowing 100% foreign direct investment in single-brand retail.

Read: Davos World Economic Forum: Modi to address opening plenary, Trump on final day

Modi will deliver the opening address and US President Donald Trump’s keynote will close the event, for which a record number of heads of state, governments, international organisations, business, philanthropists, civil society and celebrities are expected this year.

Much like Trump who, said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders in a statement on Tuesday, “looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries, and American workers”, Modi will invite international businesses to invest in India and offer it as a greenfield FDI destination.

The Chinese delegation, which was represented by President Xi Jinping in 2017, will be led by his economic adviser Liu He this year.

Modi is in Switzerland from January 22, and will also hold a bilateral meeting with Swiss Confederation president Alain Berset.

Themed ‘Creating a shared future in a fractured world’, the 2018 WEF meet will focus on international cooperation on critical shared interests, such as international security, environment, the global economy and divisions within societies.

First Published: Jan 18, 2018 06:52 IST