Highlights

  • WEF organisers ask attendees to travel by train
  • India's largest-ever contingent attends WEF
  • Ukraine President addresses Davos gathering

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Decoded | India invites foreign investment as Davos World Economic Forum reflects global conflict

A large Indian contingent invited investment at Davos, as the WEF reflected a changing international order, with the Ukraine war, climate change, and global inflation at the top of the agenda.

The war in Ukraine, climate change, and global inflation topped the agenda at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, as political and business leaders converged to discuss global issues.

The first in-person event since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Economic Forum now reflects a changing world. Organisers asked those attending to take the train instead of travelling in an attempt to cut down on the event’s carbon footprint, although how many took that advice is anyone’s guess.

A large Indian contingent was in attendance at Davos, from Union Ministers to executives and leaders of India’s biggest firms, who participated in a number of sessions at the forum. According to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, a record high 200 people from India attended the WEF this year.

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India’s large turnout was accompanied by ‘The India Lounge’, set up in a street in Davos, serving up local delicacies, and inviting foreign investment at the same time. Several states, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra, set up their own individual camps as well. ‘Come, invest in India’, seemed to be the message.

India recently reported its highest ever foreign direct investment inflow, with $83.57 billion invested in 2021-22. Indian states are trying hard to increase this number at Davos, with Maharashtra signing over $10 billion in investment intentions with 24 companies, and Telangana signing renewables investment pacts worth a total of around $16 billion.

The World Economic Forum reflected the tumultuous state of global affairs, with the war in Ukraine featuring heavily throughout sessions. Russian business and political leaders haven't been invited to the gathering this year, and the former Russia House has been converted to an exhibition covering alleged warcrimes committed by the country. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed the forum, and asked business leaders to exit Russia.

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