Story Of The Week

World Economic Forum 2018: India and The Fourth Industrial Revolution

“India is removing the red tape and laying out the red carpet”

-Narendra Modi

Introduction

The World Economic Forum(WEF), 1971 established not-for-profit foundation, is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. The foremost business, political and other leaders of the society engage in this forum to shape regional, global and industry agendas. The organization is inclined to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.

Every year a number of businesses, government, and civil society leaders make their way to the high Alps for its Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters to discuss and brainstorm the major global challenges of the time.

The forum provides high-end research capabilities, producing cutting-edge data on one of the most significant issues like gender parity, competitiveness, and global information technology. This year’s WEF had an all-female list of co-chairs -IMF chief Christine Lagarde, IBM CEO Ginni Rometty; Fabiola Gianotti, director general of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva; Norway’s PM Erna Solberg, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) general secretary (Belgium) Sharan Burrow; Isabelle Kocher, CEO of ENGIE Group; and Chetna Sinha, founder and president of Mann Deshi Mahila Bank and Mann Deshi Foundation in India.

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India at WEF Davos Annual Meet

At the 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos Modi became the first Indian Prime Minister to attend the high-level forum in two decades. As he courted the global investors to Asia’s third-largest economy, Modi said at the opening session of the World Economic Forum in Davos that India is working toward a five trillion dollar economy by 2025.

Modi, in his spearheading efforts to attract more foreign investment, stated that that almost all areas if Indian economy has been opened for foreign direct investment. In last three years “More than 1400 archaic laws that were an obstacle to doing business” have been abolished. Earlier this month Indian government eased restrictions on foreign direct investment in several sectors, including real estate brokerages, single-brand retail, and power exchanges. Overseas airlines were also allowed to invest in state carrier Air India Ltd.

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Earlier relaxation of rules on investment in defense, construction, insurance, pension and other sectors took place marking the year that ended in March 2017 with the highest ever foreign investment inflows.

Prime Minister Modi sent out a strong message in the favor of globalization by saying that protectionism and inward-focused economic policies could be as dangerous as terrorism and climate change.

Protectionism:

In a speech pushing countries to adopt open trade reforms and policies, Modi stated, “Forces of protectionism are raising their head against globalization. Their intention is not only to avoid globalization themselves but also to reverse its natural flow. The result of all this is that we get to witness new types of tariff and non-tariff barriers.” By saying this he tried to push countries towards an open trade environment. Though Prime Minister Modi did not mention Trump’s name anywhere it was a clear indication towards Trump’s America First policy and just a few hours prior President Trump had imposed taxes on the import solar equipment.

The Prime Minister also took this opportunity to initiate a dialogue with the audience, focusing on India as an investment destination. He also presented new reforms, such as removing the requirement for certain licenses and “permit raj”, making it easier for countries to work in India. “We are replacing red tape with red carpet”, he said in an attempt to woo investors.

Terrorism:

Modi, in his speech, also touched on the issue of terrorism. In his talk, he urged countries to distance themselves from groups that advocate for terrorism in a bid to fight against it. Under no circumstance should they be provided with money, arms or ammunition. He also expressed his concern with an increase in the radicalization of youth.

Climate Change:

Another global challenge, according to Modi, is climate change. He stated the fact that very few countries have come forward to help developing countries combat CO2 emissions. Previously, The Paris Climate Accord of 2017 introduced many reforms in the struggle against greenhouse gas emissions. However, US President Trump rejected the accord, which has resulted in widespread condemnation. Modi pressed on the fact that time has come for the world to think of mitigations of the threat. He also mentioned that caring for the environment is embedded in India’s culture.

India the hub of Fourth Industrial Revolution

2cSoqlgKyXKgcJeevMm31LJgX2xR4LH5tbcYkBr3JpgThe Fourth Industrial Revolution has already begun in India and much of the Indian population is yet to realize that. Entrepreneurs, CEOs, company founders and start-ups have shown an exponential rise in adopting new technologies and technologies involving AI and robotics along with neuroscience. The visionary leadership of the Indian industry has started at bringing the arc of progress to India with firm belief and quietly sweeping the world. We start today from the tip of a pen to an aircraft, whether it’s a chai shop or railway coaches, may it be telecom towers or warehouses, everywhere the fourth industrial revolution is underway independent of the business we do and also from global corporations to domestic firms and start-ups.

For India, and from the opportunity point of view, the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings tremendous changes and chances for India to leap many stages of development, hastening its journey of being a developed nation. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is also said to be set a level among technologies used in India and in the developed economies. Robots, AI, IoT is all technologies transforming the industry in the West and are ready to do the same in India.

What can we look forward to?

India should start to possibly determine the areas where it could excel in technology adaptation. India has the required intellectual as well as technological capital to the central hub for the transfer of AI, Robotics, and the Internet of Things based products to the entire world. India being a leading services supplier should also look into these possible opportunities. India should also identify the industries and sectors where the Fourth Industrial Revolution can show the maximum effect and the industries and sectors that may get affected due to it. The way for future until 2020 for India is the adaptation of technology and after that, until 2030 is the full-fledged utilization of all its resources along with technology to attain the position of a global superpower and a developed economy. But, the challenge due to the adaptation of these technologies remains still at India’s grassroots level. India should bring in reforms to bring its people to a level where they are equivalently skilled so as the one required to handle the technological changes.

References

https://qrius.com/world-economic-forum-modi/

http://www.businesstoday.in/wef-2018/news/what-is-world-economic-forum-why-its-important-for-india/story/268516.html

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/archive/india/

https://www.weforum.org/about/world-economic-forum

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/10/kranti-nation-india-and-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/

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