'India Has Given the World a Bouquet of Hope': PM Modi at WEF's Davos Agenda

The event will feature heads of state and other leaders discussing the critical challenges facing the world today.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, 17 January, delivered a special virtyal address at the World Economic Forum's Davos Agenda, being convened on the theme of "The State of the World".

Speaking at the summit, PM Modi said that India, which is celebrating its 75th year of Independence and also the administration of 156 crore vaccine doses in the country, has gifted the world a bouquet of hope.

"This bouquet includes full faith in democracy, technology empowering the 21st century, the talent and temperament of Indians," PM Modi said.

'India Has Become Pharmacy to the World'

Further, PM Modi stated that during COVID, India walked the vision of 'One Earth, One Health' and provided medicines and vaccines to several countries, saving numerous lives.

"Today, India has become the pharmacy to the world - the third largest producer," he added.

"I am sure in the times to come India will fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the world," PM Modi said.

'India's Digital Infrastructure a Strength to the Nation'

Today, India is sending a record number of software engineers to the world and over 50 lakh software developers are working in India, the prime minister said, adding that India also currently houses the third highest unicorns globally.

The digital infrastructure developed and adapted by India in the last few years have become a strength to the nation, PM Modi said.

"When the world was focusing on interventions such as quantitative easing programme during COVID, India was paving the way for reform. We gave unprecedented speed to digital and physical infrastructure during COVID," the prime minister said.

Over 6 lakh villages in India are being connected with optical fibre. Infrastructure associated with connectivity are being strengthened for $1.3 trillion, he added.

Speaking from a COVID perspective, he added that the Aarogya Setu app and the CoWin portal are helping in tracking of active cases and vaccination slot booking.

On the aspect of business, PM Modi said that last year, India reduced over 25,000 compliances and added that retrospective taxes have been made better, which has helped the government earn the trust of the business community.

"Today India has the world's largest, safe and successful digital payments platform. In the last month alone, 4.4 billion transactions have taken place in India through Unified Payments Interface (UPI)," PM Modi said.

"India has also deregulated in drones, space and geo-spatial mapping. We have also done major reforms in outdated IT/BPO sector that were outdated," he further stated.

Best Time to Invest in India, Says PM

The prime minister went on to say that this is the best time to invest in India, given the country's adaptability to new tech.

The entrepreneurship spirit that Indians have, the ability to adopt new technology, can give new energy to each of our global partners, he opined.

"Today, India's youth has a new energy for entrepreneurship. In 2014, there were just a few hundred registered startups. Today, the number has crossed 60,000, several of them unicorns," he pointed out.

India's commitment towards deep economic reforms makes it the most attractive destination for investment, he added.

India's focus isn't just on easing the process, but also on incentivising investment and production, on the way to self-reliance, the PM said, adding that with this approach, PLI schemes worth $26 billion have been started in 14 sectors.

"We are walking ahead with the idea of 'Make in India, Make for the world," he said.

'Throw Away Culture' & 'Mission Life'

"We have to accept that our lifestyle is also a big challenge for the climate. 'Throw away' culture and consumerism have made the climate challenge more serious," PM Modi said.

Continuing with his address, PM Modi said that 'Mission Life' must become a global mass movement and a key for global climate change.

"It has to become the pillar for a P3 - Pro Planet People movement," he said.

The challenges that we have faced as a family is also increasing due to a change in global order. Disruptions in supply chains, inflation and climate change are similar examples, he said.

"In order to fight them, collective and synchronized action is needed for each country," PM Modi added.


The Davos Summit Amid COVID Pandemic

This is the second consecutive year that summit is being held digitally due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Starting Monday, the five day-long virtual event will feature heads of state and government, CEOs and other leaders discussing the critical challenges facing the world today and presenting their ideas on how to address them.

In addition to PM Modi, the world leaders delivering "State of the World" special addresses will include Japan's Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, US Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen, and Nigeria's Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.


What Will the Summit Cover?

The Davos Agenda 2022 will provide an opportunity for world leaders to reflect on the "State of the World" and shape solutions for critical challenges in the year ahead, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

Two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WEF said, the five-day online event "will focus on driving concerted action among key global stakeholders".

Key sessions of the event will cover issues such as the pandemic, the fourth industrial revolution, energy transition, the climate crisis, sustainable development and the global economic outlook, according to the WEF.

Participants will also share their views on climate change, the social contract and vaccine equity, among others, said the WEF.

"Everyone hopes that in 2022, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the crises that accompanied it, will finally begin to recede. But major global challenges await us, from climate change to rebuilding trust and social cohesion. To address them, leaders will need to adopt new models, look long term, renew cooperation and act systemically," said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.

WEF Defers Annual Meeting Over Omicron Concerns

Last month, the WEF announced that due to continued concerns over the Omicron variant, it would defer its annual meeting, which is usually held in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

Initially scheduled to take place between 17-21 January, it is now planned for early summer.

Instead, participants would join the virtual Davos Agenda 2022 which begins on Monday.

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