Donald Trump, Narendra Modi meet likely at Davos World Economic Forum


NEW DELHI: US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are expected to have a separate meeting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos later this month, reports said on Wednesday.

Trump and Modi’s attendance at Davos meet assumes great significance, as the former would be the first US president to attend an annual gathering of global economic leaders in 18 years, while the latter would be the first Indian PM to attend the mega event since 1997.

The White House confirmed on Tuesday that Trump will take his populist message directly to the world`s business and financial elite attending the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Trump — who ran for president on a nationalist “America First” platform — will mingle at the annual Alpine festival of globalism in Switzerland, and perhaps offer a few views of his own.

Not only, Trump’s participation, but PM Modi’s decision to be a part of the event is making headlines.

PM Modi is slated to address the plenary session of the prestigious global business meet, Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu announced on Tuesday.

According to the Commerce Ministry, WEF 2018, to be held over January 23-26, will be attended by 350 political leaders, including over 60 heads of state or government, and CEOs of the world’s major companies.

While Modi is slated to address the inaugural plenary session on January 23, he is to be followed by an impressive array of Indian ministers who will take part in various group sessions.

Besides Prabhu, they include Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan as well as the respective Ministers of State in the PMO Jitendra Singh and for the External Affairs Ministry M.J. Akbar, a Commerce Ministry release said.

According to observers, Modi’s first visit to WEF is an opportunity to interact with foreign investors following the implementation of the major structural reform of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), as well as the demonetisation measure of November 2016.