India promotes the “new reality” with the Davos street show

DAVOS, Switzerland, May 25 (Reuters) – Bright colors and bold logos proudly mark India as its base on Davos Main Street this year as the country trumpets its move in favor of business and foreign investment.

Inside a kiosk on Promenade Street in the Swiss Alpine resort under the “India @ Davos 2022” logo, the federal government served delicacies such as “masala chai” tea, “samosa” snacks and other spicy delicacies.

Around it are six Indian states with their own lounges, housed in shops that are usually main streets.

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“It’s an Indian road, it should be called ‘Little India.’ It shows the country is open to investment,” said Samir Saran of the Observer Research Institute of India.

Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Reuters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had proposed that states unite to show unity in bringing together business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum.

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

While India has long been present at the World Economic Forum, several officials and attendees from Asia’s third largest economy said it had not been so prominent in the past.

At the government base, food was being prepared by a team of 15 chefs from India, along with 450kg of vegetables and local spices, chief chef Guru Nathan told Reuters as people enjoyed a fragrant breakfast buffet.

“We were asked to keep the spice moderate so that everyone could enjoy (the food),” Nathan said.

Just a few steps below, Indian tech giants Infosys (INFY.NS), Wipro (WIPR.NS) and HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) have established bases close to those of Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google, Meta ( FB.O) and Intel (INTC.O).

A government official said the number of Indian officials in Davos was more than 100, with dozens of company executives and a handful of startups also present. Goyal estimated that there would be a total of 200 Indian participants.

“We have record numbers from India,” said Sriram Gutta, head of India’s WEF agenda.

“NEW REALITY”

The federal ministers spoke about India’s economic prosperity and the opportunities it offers in Davos.

Although the Monti government has often been criticized by foreign companies for announcing policies that it says are pro-domestic and in favor of domestic companies, India recently reported the highest foreign direct investment inflow ever, reaching $ 83.57 billion. in 2021-22.

Following regular contacts with Indian states on issues such as agricultural technology, drones and electric vehicles, the WEF has gradually increased the number of invitations to them, Gutta said, adding that “they will continue to gain prominence”.

Although run by different political parties, the states have been trying to project a united image and present their respective business offerings, Deepak Bagla, chief executive of federal investment promotion arm India Invest, told Reuters.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh has signed $ 16 billion worth of investment deals to invest in renewable energy in Davos, while an official said Karnataka has been meeting with potential investors. read more

“What this road really shows you is the new reality of India,” Bagla said.

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Report by Aditya Kalra. Edited by Alexander Smith

Our role models: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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