PM Modi at Davos: What can be expected?
If one goes by some selective parameters, the world is definitely on an optimistic path, a vibrant one with a healthy future. The global economy is robust, growing from the U.S to India, China to Southern Africa, Brazil to Australia, European markets on a fast recovery mode, progressing technology and energetic stock markets like never before.
Getting consumed by all these euphoric numbers, we often tend to overlook certain parameters, exploring deep gives us an altered picture, in simple, we need to worry about a lot of things from growing inequality, concentration of economic wealth in a few, falling governance standards, lack of political consensus while solving global threats and so on.
In the recent past, the global setting has evolved swiftly: geostrategic fractures have re-emerged on several fronts with across-the-board political and socio-economic consequences. On global political context, ‘Realpolitik’ is no more a cold war vocabulary. Economic affluence and social consistency are not one and the same in our day. All these issues and challenges cannot patch up or self-correct by itself.
On the domestic political sphere, fresh and divisive narratives are altering governance. On the economic sphere, the focus we provide to preserve the benefits of global integration while formulating inadequate policies which limits the shared and cooperative obligations such as environment, sustainable development, climate change, and the fourth industrial revolution. On the social sphere, we are now witnessing the ‘age of social networking’, where every citizen of this planet is connected in one way or the other, calling it a ‘digital revolution’ is only undermining the growth we witness today, it is more than a revolution. Citizens yearn for a responsive leadership, socio-political awareness has infiltrated in every section of the society in every country. All the while, the social contract between states and their citizens continues to erode significantly.
Considering these shifting dynamics, the 48th WEF Annual Meeting is set to rededicate leaders from all walks of life in developing a shared agenda for the improvement of the state of the world. And the theme is fitting the best, ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World’
This meeting, happening at the start of this year stresses global joint efforts, co-design, co-creation, and collaboration. Over the coming years, there will be a reconfiguration of the world order in all spheres—something that we see playing out in real time for sure.
Having optimism about the future, at the same time having some concern about what is going to come next, it is with these understanding that one should listen to the speeches or analyze the outcomes of this summit.
Swiss is witnessing the largest snowstorm in over recent two decades, despite the climate odds in Davos, the WEF meeting started as scheduled.
In the initial days, the highpoint is that a large and progressive Indian delegation is being led by PM Narendra Modi, leader of the fastest growing major economy of the world – as well as the world’s largest populated democracy. And this time he was invited with a white carpet (snow), instead of the conventional red carpet.
Davos is all about leveraging business, fishing deals than philosophizing about the new world order. And PM Modi is a pro when it comes to deal-making, so many significant economic deals can be expected.
Missile and space technology is the best potential areas to strike deals as India has recently achieved prodigious heights in these capacities, Mars Orbiter Mission is one fine example. Likewise, a strong case has built-up to showcase our peaceful nuclear technology as India recently joined Australia Group and the elite multilateral export control group, the Wassenaar Arrangement. India has a peaceful nuclear track record – which is in stark and sharp contrast to its neighbors.
On the domestic sphere, India is currently witnessing a series of dynamic economic reforms, starting from the ambitious Make-in-India to the GST reforms. Even though there are glitches all the way during implementations, corrections and remedial actions are being worked out simultaneously.
As prominent world leaders are expected to join the Davos Meeting, India can use it as a platform to reinforce its bilateral relations with countries like the U.S., Japan, and Europe. Along with India, these countries contribute nearly two-thirds of the current world GDP.
PM Modi should use magical spells and rhetoric to appease the global business community at the Davos to invest in India. He should focus more on the common grounds and the shared growth, as this year’s Davos is all about “Shared Future”.
*Shiva Shankar Pandian is The Editor (U.S. Affairs) at The Kootneeti. He frequently writes on global issues concerned with India and the United States.