India exposes ‘new reality’ with street performance in Davos

DAVOS, Switzerland, May 25 (Reuters) – Bright colors and bold logos proudly mark where India has set up shop on the main street of Davos this year, as the country trumpets its pro-investment readiness -business and foreign.

Inside a pavilion on Promenade Street in the Swiss alpine resort under the “India @ Davos 2022” logo, the federal government served treats including “masala chai” tea, “samosa” snacks and d other spicy delicacies.

Surrounding it are six Indian states with their own salons, housed in what are usually street shops.

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“It’s an Indian street, it should be called ‘Little India’. It shows that the country is open for investment,” said Samir Saran of the Observer Research Foundation in India.

India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal told Reuters that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested bringing states together to show unity at the meeting of business and political leaders at the World Economic Forum.

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

While India has long had a presence at the World Economic Forum, several officials and participants from Asia’s third-largest economy said it was not that prominent before.

At the government base, food was prepared by a team of 15 chefs flown in from India, along with 450 kilograms of local vegetables and spices, head chef Guru Nathan told Reuters, as people savored a fragrant buffet in the morning.

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

A short distance away, Indian tech giants Infosys (INFY.NS), Wipro (WIPR.NS) and HCL Technologies (HCLT.NS) have set up their bases close to those of Alphabet (GOOGL.O) Google, Meta ( FB.O) and Intel (INTC.O).

A state government official estimated more than 100 Indian officials were in attendance at Davos, with dozens of business executives and a handful of startups also attending. Goyal estimated that there would be a total of 200 Indian participants.

“We have a record number from India,” said Sriram Gutta, head of India’s agenda at the WEF.

‘NEW REALITY’

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

Although Modi’s government has often been criticized by foreign companies for announcing policies they say are protectionist in nature and favor domestic companies, India recently reported its highest ever influx of foreign direct investment. recorded, which reached $83.57 billion in 2021-22.

After speaking regularly with Indian states on topics such as agricultural technology, drones and electric vehicles, the WEF has gradually increased the number of invitations, Gutta said, adding that they “will continue to gain in importance”.

Despite being led by different political parties, the states were seeking to project a united image and present their respective offers to businesses, Deepak Bagla, CEO of federal investment promotion arm Invest India, told Reuters.

The southern state of Andhra Pradesh has signed investment pacts worth a total of $16 billion for renewable energy investments in Davos, while an official said Karnataka had held meetings with potential investors. Read more

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

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Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Alexander Smith

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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