WEF meet: 125-member delegation to represent India

Starting today: SEVERAL HIGH-PROFILE participants won’t attend this year

Davos | Published:January 21, 2014 1:03 am

Hundreds of top CEOs will discuss the state of the global economy among themselves and with around 40 heads of government at the annual talk-fest here for five days, beginning Tuesday.

At the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), being held for the 43rd time in the Swiss skiing resort town of Davos, India will be represented by a nearly 125-member delegation including senior ministers and top corporate leaders.

Besides economic issues and hardcore business talks, problems in Syria, Iran’s possible return to global diplomatic tables, as also the ever-evolving future of euro zone is expected to hog the limelight during the summit. The heads of states expected here include those from the UK, Australia, Japan, Iran, Israel, Brazil, Italy, Mauritius, Republic of Korea besides Switzerland itself.

The Indian leaders expected to attend the meeting include finance minister P Chidambaram, commerce minister Anand Sharma, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and minister for urban development Kamal Nath. Minister for heavy industries and public enterprises Praful Patel, power minister Jyotiraditya Scindia and Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan  are also scheduled to attend the meeting.

Some high profile participants across the world, however, have announced their no-shows at the forum.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has cancelled his visit after a deadly Taliban attack in his country.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was one of the star attractions here last year, also had to cancel her trip after a skiing accident.

From India, industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla will not be attending the meet, despite his initial confirmation. Besides, Chanda Kochhar of ICICI Bank and Anand Mahindra had already decided to skip this year’s meet despite being regulars here for the many past years.

Among other Indian leaders, Tata Group chief Cyrus Mistry and Reliance Industries head Mukesh Ambani are so far expected to be present, but neither of them are as yet scheduled to participate in any official sessions.

Once a regular, Citibank’s former CEO Vikram Pandit is also missing, while his successor and incumbent chief of global banking giant Mike Corbat has also given this year’s summit a miss.

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