Prime Minister Narendra Modi pondered over globalisation, climate change, democratic values and terrorism on the first day of the World Economic Forum plenary session on Tuesday. Narendra Modi is the first Prime Minister to attend the World Economic Forum after 20 years. HD Deve Gowda was the last prime minister to the summit in 1997.
At the outset, PM Modi said he was happy to be in Davos and thanked the people and Government of Switzerland for the warm welcome.
PM Modi said, "Last time an Indian PM came to Davos was in 1997 when Deve Gowda ji had come. That time our GDP was little more than 400 billion dollars, now its more than six times."
"This year the topic here is 'Creating a shared future in a fractured world'. New powers are changing the balance between Economic & Political strength. This is indicating a change in future of the world. The world is facing challenges in maintaining peace, stability & security," he said.
"India has always believed in values of integration and unity, 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' which means the entire world is one family. It is relevant to bridge distances."
PM Modi said, "Climate change is a huge threat right now, Snow in the Arctic is melting, many islands are sinking or are about to sink. Care towards the environment is a part of India's culture."
After climate change, PM Modi pondered over the threat of terrorism. He said, " Terrorism is a big threat but an even bigger threat is when you give definitions like good terrorism and bad terrorism."
"Many societies and countries are becoming self-centred. It seems that globalisation, as opposed to its definition, is shrinking. Such misplaced preferences can't be considered any lesser threat than terrorism or climate change. We must admit shine of globalisation is fading."
"We in India are proud of our democracy and diversity. For a society with diverse religions, cultures, languages, attires and cuisines, democracy is not just a political system but a way of living," PM Modi added.
"Today, data is a real wealth and it is being said that whoever acquires and controls the data will have hegemony in the future. The global flow of data is creating big opportunities as well as challenges," Prime Minister Modi said.
He added that technology-driven transformation has been deeply affecting people's way of thinking, working, international groups, politics, and economy.
He further said a change in India's ranking is an indicator that the people in India have warmly welcomed the change in policies as the road to a better future for them.
The five-day World Economic Forum (WEF) affair seems to be bigger this year. The forum began on Tuesday with addresses from the leaders of India and Canada. There will be a session on ending sexual harassment.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met President of Switzerland Alain Berset and Professor Klaus Schwab (executive chairman of the World Economic Forum).