July 2, 2022

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India showcases 'new reality' with Davos Street Show

India showcases ‘new reality’ with Davos Street Show

DAVOS, Switzerland (May 25) (Reuters) – Bright colors and bold logos proudly point to where India made a base on Main Street in Davos this year, as the country trumps its pro-business orientation and foreign investment.

Inside a pavilion on Promenade in a Swiss Alpine resort with the theme “India @ Davos 2022,” the federal government served food including masala chai, samosas and other spicy dishes.

Six Indian states are clustered around it with their own lounges, and shops are usually located on the main streets.

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“It’s an Indian street, it should be called ‘Little India’,” said Sameer Saran of India’s Observer Research. “It shows that the country is open to investments.”

India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Reuters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed bringing countries together to show unity at the meeting of business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum.

“Investors love that kind of message,” Goyal said.

While India has had a long presence at the World Economic Forum, many officials and attendees from Asia’s third-largest economy said it was not previously prominent.

Chef Guru Nathan told Reuters that food at Government House was prepared by a team of 15 chefs flown in from India, along with 450 kilograms of local vegetables and spices, while people were enjoying the fragrant morning buffet.

“We have been asked to keep the seasoning moderate so that everyone can enjoy[the food],” Nathan said.

Just a few steps out of the way, Indian tech giant Infosys (INFY.NS)Wipro (WIPR.NS) and HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) They set up their bases close to those of the Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google, meta (FB.O) and intel (INTC.O).

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A state government official estimated the number of Indian officials who attended Davos at more than 100, with dozens of corporate executives and a few startups in attendance. Goyal estimated that there would be 200 Indian participants overall.

“We have record numbers from India,” said Sriram Ghota, India’s Agenda Chair at the World Economic Forum.

new reality

Federal ministers spoke of India’s economic prosperity and the opportunities it presents at Davos.

Although the Modi government has often faced criticism from foreign companies for declaring policies that it says are protectionist in nature and favor domestic companies, India recently reported the highest ever FDI inflow, reaching $83.57 billion in 2021-22.

After regularly engaging with Indian states on topics such as agriculture technology, drones and electric vehicles, the WEF has gradually increased the number of invitations to them, said Guetta, adding that they “will continue to gain fame”.

Deepak Bagla, chief executive of Invest India, the federal investment promotion arm, told Reuters that although it is run by different political parties, states are striving to project a unified image and showcase their own offerings to companies.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh has signed investment agreements totaling $16 billion to invest in renewables in Davos, while an official said Karnataka has held meetings with potential investors. Read more

“What this street is really showing you is the new reality of India,” Bajla said.

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Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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