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Arun Jaitley to lead over 100-strong Indian delegation to WEF meet

PTI 13 Jan 2016, 18:55:42 IST
PTI

Geneva: India will have a strong presence of over 100 business and government leaders, led by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, at the WEF Annual Meeting in Davos next week that would be attended by more than 2,500 participants from across the world including 40 heads of state.

The global leaders attending the five-day prestigious annual event in the Swiss ski resort town would include UK's David Cameron, Pakistan's Nawaz Sharif, Canada's Justin Trudeau, Alexis Tsipras of Greece, Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Joe Biden of the US and Johann Schneider-Ammann from the host Switzerland.

The 46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), spread over more than 300 sessions, would focus on fourth Industrial revolution, announced the Geneva-based non profit group that has been organising this Summit in Davos for more than four decades every January.

On the agenda of Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution are the acute challenges of geo-economics, global security, public health, education, gender parity and climate change, WEF said. The key issues to be discussed also include the "new normal" global growth and falling commodity prices.

The Co-Chairs of the Annual Meeting 2016 are General Motors' chief Mary Barra, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General-Secretary Sharan Burrow, Microsoft's India-born CEO Satya Nadella, Hitachi's Chairman and CEO Hiroaki Nakanishi, Credit Suisse CEO Tidjane Thiam and Al Bawsala Founder Amira Yahyaoui.

Besides Jaitley, the Indian delegation would also include RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, Power Minister Piyush Goyal, Trade and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

The prominent Indian business leaders would include Mukesh and Anil Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Anand Mahindra, Rahul Bajaj, Azim Premji, Adi Godrej, Chanda Kochhar, Uday Kotak, Hari S Bhartia, Shyam Sunder Bhartia, Arundhati Bhattacharya, Naresh Goyal, Sunil Mittal, Rana Kapoor, Anant Gupta and C P Gurnani.

Besides, N Chandrasekaran, Ajit Gulabchand, Sajjan Jindal, Baba Kalyani, Madhu Kannan, Hemant Kanoria, Onkar S Kanwar, Manish Kejriwal, Rajiv Lall, Rajiv Memani, Rajan Mittal, Prashant Modi, Nirav Modi, Pawan Munjal, Ajay Piramal, Anuj Puri, Ravi and Shashi Ruia, Malvinder Mohan Singh, Tulsi Tanti and Ravi Uppal would also be present.

The young business leaders from India would be Karan Adani, Isha Ambani, Akash Ambani, Anant Bajaj, Sanjiv Bajaj, Dheeraj Hinduja, Rishad Premji, Ratul Puri, Huzaifa Khorakiwala, Nihal Kulkarni, Prashant Ruia and Nidhi Tanti.

"The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to the fusion of technologies across the physical, digital and biological worlds which is creating entirely new capabilities and dramatic impacts on political, social and economic systems, WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said.

"The speed, scale and systemic nature of this transformation has the potential to disrupt all sectors and call into question the essence of human nature and identity.

Read Also: Allegations against Jaitley based on facts, Kejriwal tells court

"The purpose of our Meeting this year is to build a shared understanding of this change, which is essential if we are to shape our collective future in a way that reflects ultimately that the human being should be at the centre," he added. Earlier a delegation from North Korea was scheduled to

attend the summit, but the WEF has revoked the invitation in wake of recent nuclear tests allegedly a hydrogen bomb.

The global leaders at the event include Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Germany's President Joachim Gauck, Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto, France's Prime Minister Manuel Valls and South African President Jacob Zuma.

Other key government representatives would be Iraq Prime Minister Haidar Al Abadi, Afghanistan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Yury Trutnev.

The US delegation is led by Vice-President Joe Biden and Jill Biden. Also attending are Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defence Ashton Carter, US Trade Representative Michael Froman, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and US Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

WEF said the participants include more than 1,500 business leaders from the WEF's 1,000 Member companies, nearly 300 public figures and Members of the Forum communities, including Social Entrepreneurs, Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Technology Pioneers.

Representatives from international organizations and civil society (NGOs, labour leaders, religious leaders), cultural leaders, academia and the media will also participate.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution refers to the ongoing transformation of our society and economy, driven by advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology and other areas of science. The innovation at the intersections of these disciplines promises to change life in new and unforeseen ways and will affect every industry and society. Learning how humankind can benefit from this revolution, while addressing its challenges, is the central aim of this year's Meeting.

The participants include Jack Ma of Alibaba Group, John Chambers of Cisco, Michael Dell of Dell, Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Eric Schmidt of Alphabet and Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

The discussions on 'New Normal' Global Growth and Commodity Prices would focus on the world facing another year with lower than 4 per cent global GDP growth. Experts will discuss ways of attaining inclusive, sustainable growth in an environment marked by continued low inflation, subdued oil and commodity prices and widespread currency weakness.

The particpants discussing this key challenge include heads of European Central Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as also Governors of the Central Banks of Canada, England, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Switzerland.

The global security issues, including the unfolding refugee crisis and recent terrorist acts around the world, would be discussed among others by Prime Ministers of Iraq, Tunisia, Lebanon and Pakistan, as also by the President of Afghanistan and Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan.

On the first day, the WEF would declare its 22nd Annual Crystal Awards to celebrate the achievements of leading artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world. This year's awardees are actress Yao Chen, actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio, artist Olafur Eliasson and musician and entrepreneur will.I.Am.

More than 40 cultural leaders will also attend the Meeting and include Bono (musician), Peter Gabriel (musician), John Green (author and blogger), Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (film-maker), Platon (photographer), Elif Shafak (author) and Kevin Spacey (actor and theatre director).