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Sonia Gandhi to address participants at the 22nd India Economic Summit

New Delhi, India, 22 November 2006: The World Economic Forum’s 22nd India Economic Summit, held in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), will take place from 26 to 28 November in New Delhi. The theme of this year's Summit is "Meeting New Expectations". It will bring together more than 600 business, political and civil society leaders from over 30 countries. The theme reflects the increased emphasis on the role of state governments and public-private partnerships in fulfilling India's future growth objectives.

Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance and President, Indian National Congress, will discuss the theme of "Meeting New Expectations" as well as present the 2006 Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award on the occasion of the Summit. Other prominent figures from India include: Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram; Commerce Minister Kamal Nath; Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Murli Deora; Health and Family Welfare Minister Anbumani Ramadoss; Science and Technology and Earth Sciences Minister Kapil Sibal; Agriculture Minister Sharad Chandra Pawar; Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek S. Ahluwalia; Chief Minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh; Chief Minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje; Chief Minister of Punjab Amarinder Singh; Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar; and Chief Minister of the National Capital Territory of Delhi Sheila Dikshit.

"The tremendous response received from the global business participants – more than 200 overseas companies with over 350 CEOs and board level participants, from over 30 countries – is a clear reflection of the global business community's increasing interest and growing confidence in India as an investment destination. The Summit has now become a recognized platform for discussing and debating issues that shape India's economic future," said R. Seshasayee, President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

This year’s India Economic Summit will explore in depth the many facets of the country’s economic and political transformation. "10% growth relies heavily on some major assumptions going forward," added Lee Howell, Head of Asia at the World Economic Forum. "One is that state governments will indeed implement policy changes in such areas as labour and education as well as make major infrastructure investments in power, transport and water and the other assumption is the successful development of the rural economy," observed Howell.

The programme is organized under four thematic pillars. State and National Competitiveness will examine how policy-makers aim to improve the environment for business growth at the state and national levels. Managing Growth will explore how states, industries and companies are adapting to changing political, economic and consumer expectations. Infrastructure Development will examine how policy-makers and CEOs are developing the country’s hard and soft infrastructure and implementing public-private partnerships. And Risk Management will examine how to address key challenges to future growth. On the occasion of the Summit, India@Risk: A Briefing, a joint project of the Forum and CII, which examines six global risks critical to the future of India, will also be released.

The following distinguished business leaders will co-chair the India Economic Summit: Mohamed A. Alabbar, Chairman, Emaar Properties, United Arab Emirates; Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman, Managing Director, Reliance Industries, India; Peter Bakker, Chief Executive Officer, TNT, Netherlands; Graham Mackay, Chief Executive, SABMiller, United Kingdom; Nandan M. Nilekani, President, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Infosys Technologies, India; and Michael Rake, International Chairman, KPMG, United Kingdom.