India’s Modi Assails Protectionism, Terrorism

At the 2018 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, called for International cooperation on climate change and stressed that the rise of protectionism is a threat facing the world, a threat that is as grave as terrorism.

In defense of globalization, Modi quoted the founding father of India, M.K Gandhi, who said, “I don’t want the walls and windows of my house to be closed from all directions. I want that the winds of cultures of all countries enter my house with aplomb and go out also. However, I will not accept my feet to be uprooted by these winds.”

In a reference to the popular Indian practices of yoga and meditation he declared, “We have always believed that victory over oneself is the greatest victory. To achieve this one needs to control one’s mind to gain victory over it. This is our soft power; in fact, our real power. Now, the whole world has started recognizing it.

Another concept that our sacred texts extol is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. This is a phrase in Sanskrit which means ‘the world is one family.’ That is why India has always seen the home nurtured and the global as mutually reinforcing and inseparable parts of the same organic arrangement. We rush to help people in need whether in the neighborhood or at far away locations. We have fought wars when no strategic interests of our own were involved.”

Fractures at the international level, according to Modi, are: direct and indirect control of territories; and control of transactions, including cross-border trade and movement of people; terrorism, and climate change.

“We all must unite in the fight against terrorism. India stands firmly with all such forces. I must also take the opportunity to appeal to all of you to see that such groups do not get money, arms, and ammunition. Without peace, progress and prosperity are not possible.”

He ended his speech by saying that India affords scope and opportunity for ideas and concepts to flourish and outlined opportunities for business and investment:

->  We need to build 50 million houses for the poor

->  We need to build metro rail systems in more than fifty cities

We must go horizontal as well as vertical.

->  From distribution of LED bulbs to laying down heavy transmission lines

->  From cooking gas in every kitchen to the National gas grid and LNG terminals

->  From roads in villages to the Bharatmala (meaning a necklace for India) road network garlanding the borders of the country

The needs of our fast track development process are lifetime opportunities for companies in various fields:

->  India’s steel consumption is 60 kg per person, against a global average of 218 kg per person

->  India’s per capita electricity consumption at 1100 kWh is the lowest among BRICS nations and is just 1/3rd of the world average

->  In India, there are 25 vehicles per 1,000 people, as against about 500 in European countries. (134th place in world and lowest in top 10 car making countries)

“Think of the revolutionary effect on your industry if the consumption needs of 1.25 billion people become at par with, or closer to, the world average in some of these sectors.”

The full text of the speech can be found here.

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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