New Delhi: The World Economic Forum (WEF) is keen to have Indian political and corporate leaders share with global counterparts their experiences in taking the benefits of growth to the poor, at the international body’s annual summit in Davos, Switzerland, in January.
“This coming year, I believe Indian participation at Davos can highlight the country’s thought leadership,” WEF founder and chairman Klaus Schwab said on the sidelines of the India Economic Summit, which has been organized by the WEF together with the Confederation of Indian Industry. “At a time when the world is searching for a new model of economic development, India’s experience as a crucible for new types of inclusive growth gives it a special role among developing economies.”
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Schwab said India faces the challenge of ensuring the fruits of economic expansion reach the bottom of the pyramid, or the poorest of the poor. “It is grappling directly with an issue that has significance and resonance for the global economy,” Schwab said.
The United Progressive Alliance government has initiated financial inclusion programmes such as the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme that assures 100 days of work every year to at least one member of every rural family.
Schwab said India provided much-needed hope with its robust economic fundamentals last year when “the world was staggering beneath the weight of the fallout from the global financial crisis”.
India’s economy expanded 7.4% in the last fiscal, making it one of the few to sustain growth at a time when many developed countries were struggling with recession. Now the country has to live up to the weight of expectations.
“The challenges set by the expectations placed on India are high,” Schwab said, adding that the country must keep up crucial reforms and address concerns over poor infrastructure.
It must bridge the difference between words and deeds, Schwab added. “The time has come for India to close the ‘say-do’ gap and to get things done,” he said.