+ India at Davos: CII-WEF Partnership through the Years – CII Blog

India at Davos 2018

The WEF annual meeting, in its 48th year, will be held from 23 to 26 January in 2018. This year, the agenda for the meeting is focussed on “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.

The 2018 annual meeting at Davos promises to be very exciting. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, is expected to attend the event for the first time as India’s head of government. Under his leadership, the Indian presence is set to be the largest ever with top government officials and over 100 CEOs, among others participating at the global event. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) coordinates the Indian delegation each year.

Long partnership

The Indian presence at Davos has been marked by a long-standing partnership between the World Economic Forum (WEF) and CII, its Indian collaborator. The relationship spans more than three decades and evolved over the years through epochal transformation of the world order, changes in international business and the economic reforms of India.

The unique institutional relationship goes back a long way. The first ever India meeting of the World Economic Forum was held in 1985. CII (then known as the Association of Indian Engineering Industry), a relatively small organization back then, had a new approach of doing business, was full of fresh ideas and had a keen desire to engage with the world. From 1986 onwards, WEF has been partnering regularly with CII.

The WEF-CII partnership helped in bringing about a greater understanding of India and its development journey to the rest of the world. Notable credit of opening up of the Indian economy to the outside world can be attributed to the WEF-CII meetings, which also helped in developing the blueprint of India’s growth policies over the years.

Dimensions of Partnership

The WEF-CII partnership expanded in many directions as the Indian economy took shape in the liberalization area. Over the years, several joint events became institutionalized which were held on a regular basis, with CII members co-chairing them.

In the last few years, the contours of the partnership have expanded and span several dimensions including the annual India Economic Summit, the strong presence of India at the Davos WEF Annual Meeting, India events at regional meetings of WEF, joint research and projects on India-specific themes and an India perspective in global endeavours of WEF, among others.

India Economic Summits

The WEF-CII partnership is evident at the India Economic Summit, which have been held regularly since 1985. The annual themes over the years reflect Indian economic and political developments and are often indicative of the direction in which the economy is headed. Discussions on emerging trends are held in the summits which help stakeholders understand and adapt to such trends.

Issues covered in the meetings span a diverse range of subjects including emerging sectors of India such as IT, aviation, infrastructure, innovation, etc.; India’s position in the world; inclusive growth, the rural economy, social development and other issues that go beyond business.

India Everywhere: Davos 2006

CII coordinated a very successful campaign at Davos in 2006 which was headlined ‘India Everywhere” and largely focussed on 15 years of India’s reform process and the continuity of its growth. The discussions highlighted India’s democratic polity, economic reforms, and its potential for the global economy.

With several vibrant performances and special events, the India campaign received worldwide media coverage, garnering global attention.

In 2010, the WEF and CII celebrated 25 years of partnership.

Other Areas of Cooperation

The Davos annual meetings have witnessed increased participation from India over the years. Each year, the meeting is attended by top ministers and chief ministers. The CII delegation includes business leaders, academia, artistes, media and civil society, and is one of the most prominent and largest in the annual gatherings. Indian speakers in the sessions discuss and provide world perspectives on the country’s outlook and its economic development.

CII also plays an important role in the regional and country specific meetings of WEF. Recognizing India as one of the most important economies for global business, WEF invites speakers from across the country to attend these meetings.

CII and WEF also frequently collaborate on research projects on Indian economic development. Further, the CII network has enabled India to become a vital part of many WEF global activities. For example, there is a strong India component in the Global Competitiveness Report, published by the WEF.

With the rise of India as a global economic power, its footprint at Davos will further strengthen and help the country scale new global heights. With an exciting program coming up, we look forward to India @ Davos this month!