ECOSOC membership strengthens India’s parleys at Davos

PM Narendra Modi attended the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 at Davos with the largest ever Indian contingent, comprising of over 100 powerful delegates, including six union ministers, and CEOs of top Indian companies

January 23, 2018

ECOSOC membership, which India regained in June 2017, strengthened the nation’s pitch at WEF Davos 2018

Indian delegation comprised of 100 delegates, including six Union Ministers and CEOs of top Indian companies

India’s structural reforms have paved the way for lucrative trade and investment opportunities in the nation

Talks at Davos included sectors such as IT, infrastructure, innovation, energy, rural economy and social development

When Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi arrived at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2018 at Davos on January 23rd, along with the largest ever Indian contingent comprising of over 100 powerful delegates, including six union ministers, and CEOs of top Indian companies, he carried with him a special endorsement. A few months earlier, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) member nations had voted for India’s re-election to the UN’s principal organisation on economic, social and environmental issues. This endorsement formed the blueprint for much of India’s conversations at Davos. At the ECOSOC election in June 2017, India had obtained 183 votes, second only to Japan, in the Asia Pacific category.

ECOSOC, one of UN’s six main organisations, is the principal body for coordination, policy review, dialogue and recommendations on economic, social and environmental issues, as well as for implementation of the internationally-agreed development goals. A few months earlier, India was  also elected to the Committee for Programme and Coordination (CPC) – the main subsidiary organ of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly for planning, programming and coordination. From there on, with PM Modi’s Davos pitch it has become clear that in the days to come, India will play a large role in shaping global policy debates as well as assisting in designing and development of better policies for a sustainable world.

Reforms driving India’s growth

India’s wins at world forums paved the ground for the Prime Minister to speak on diverse topics that have global impact, and for the country to put out a wide palette of offerings and invitations to international governments and businesses as well as research and development organizations. Backed by international recognition for the series of structural reforms carried out by his government, PM Modi highlighted the “New, Young & Innovative India” credentials and similar attributes that burnish the country’s role as a feasible global partner.

The Indian delegation pointed out that international entities have experienced improved ease of doing business in India after the opening of FDI in several sectors, the roll out of reforms such as the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, Demonetization and GST (Goods and Services Tax) for a common tax regime across the nation. These reforms will improve efficiency, speed and transparency, while checking corruption, streamlining taxation and boosting sustainable growth. Since these reforms, India has witnessed a number of positive ratings from international credit rating agencies such as the World Bank, Moody’s and the International Monetary Fund.

Issues covered by the Indian delegates at the Davos summit included emerging sectors such as IT, aviation, infrastructure, innovation, energy, rural economy, social development as well as other issues that go beyond business

In his address, PM Modi assured world leaders that India was equipped to take on challenges like protectionism and terrorism. Here are some highlights of his Davos promises:

  • Stability and progress: Backed by his domestic electoral wins, PM Modi emphasised that a predictable, stable, transparent and progressive India is good news in an otherwise uncertain global environment. India’s peaceful track record in the global arena makes the country a global favourite.
  • Growth for all: Slamming the protectionist policies recently adopted by a number of countries, PM Modi said that India was not merely looking at its own self-interest but looking at global prosperity.
  • Major reforms: Modi reiterated that it has become easy for foreign companies to invest in India because of the recently simplified investment policies. He assured that it was now very easy to visit, invest, work, manufacture and export product to all corners of the world from India.
  • Youth Power: India will have the world’s youngest country by 2020, with an average age of 29 years. This will provide a surplus workforce of 47 million, the highest in the word. PM Modi said that the Indian youth are eyeing a US$5 trillion economy by 2022, said the PM.
  • Red tape to red-carpet: Assuring Global Inc that India has completely shed its conservative working policy and that anyone could invest in India without facing much bureaucratic hurdles, Modi said, “my country has now changed from a red tape to a red-carpet nation”. 
  • Technology drive: Modi recognised the need for strong coordination between like-minded nations to speed up global economic growth and that a technology and digital revolution can help find answers to these challenges.
  • Renewable energy: Identifying climate change as an imminent threat to global prosperity, PM Modi pointed towards India’s progress on sustainable growth. India has set a target of generating 175 GW renewable energy by 2022. Of this, 60 GW has already been achieved. 


Shift from technology facilitator to digital leader

India has focused on a strategic shift from being a technology facilitator for the global IT industry to a global digital leader, where the relationship between humans and technology is constantly being redefined by virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence (AI). Modi’s underlining of big data and AI was a vindication of where India stands on the issue of technology-induced progress. This ongoing technological revolution will create a variety of business, investment and job opportunities, while providing a higher sense of connectivity not just for labour but for all humanity.

Issues covered by the Indian delegates at the Davos summit spanned across a wide spectrum of subjects, including emerging sectors such as IT, aviation, infrastructure, innovation, energy, rural economy, social development as well as other issues that go beyond business. WEF Davos has the reputation of laying out the economic and political charter of the world. Of this, a large chunk is looking at India as the torch bearer of a new, progressive, environmentally sustainable era. With the sure and steady rise of India as a global economic power, its footprint at Davos will further strengthen and help the country scale new global heights.

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