5 things that happened at #ies19

Prakash Javadekar, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, and Information and Broadcasting of India, Nicole Schwab, Director International Relations, National Geographic Society, USA; Young Global Leader, Cultural Leader and Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation, India speaking during the Session "There is No Planet B" at the India Economic Summit 2019 in New Delhi, India, Copyright by World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

These are some of the things you might have missed. Image: World Economic Forum / Benedikt von Loebell

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This article is part of: India Economic Summit

The World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit is over for this year. In the 35th year of the Forum's engagement with India, these are some of the key takeaways from the discussions and sessions of the 2019 meeting.

1. The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore on globalization

In his opening remarks, Heng Swee Keat highlighted the significant changes taking place in the global economy today. Some parts of the world are retreating from globalization, while others are looking to increase collaboration and integration, he explained.

He asked how countries in South Asia could better come together to support global integration and a multilateral trading system.

And he reminded people of the challenge - and extent - of global inequality:

"We are seeing a growing inequality in terms of wealth and income--both within countries and across countries. We are seeing a lot of concerns about the impact of economic growth on sustainable development, on the environment."


2. Sania Mirza on women’s rights

Tennis player and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia Sania Mirza highlighted the progress that's been made, but also the challenges that remain, for gender equality - both in the region and across the globe.

She used her own experience of taking up sport to make a powerful point about cultural obstacles to women's rights that persist:

"It is so deeply embedded - this culture that a girl needs to be pretty and that she needs to be fair to be pretty... I think that culture needs to change."

It's not just at the grassroots level either. When she won the Wimbledon doubles' title in 2015, she was asked in the press conference afterwards about her plans for motherhood.


You can also watch all of the Inspiring LeadHers, Aspiring Outcomes session.

3. US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross on US-India trade

The prospect of a trade deal between the US and India dominated discussions during the Trading Against the Tide panel.

US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross summarised the situation:

"Neither government said there would be a trade deal in five minutes," he said. But, he added: "We do think there's no structural issue why there can't be one very quickly."


You can also watch our social video on the conversation.

4. A new type of diplomacy

Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, India's Minister of External Affairs, sat down with World Economic Forum President Børge Brende to discuss the country's economic, political and social outlook.

He emphaisesed India's desire to be a global player:

"What you have seen definitely over the last five years is a willingness to go out and engage countries, visit new countries -a new energy in [India's] foreign affairs."

And he explained how he was trying to pursue a new type of diplomacy, one which was "softer, more collaborative, more co-owned."


You can watch the whole of India and the World: A Conversation with Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on the event page.

5. And to end: peace and harmony

In the final session of the summit, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina outlined a clear vision:

"We must strive to secure peace, security and harmony for every individual across our societies."

She also explained how her own country maintains a policy of "friendship to all, malice to none."


You can watch the whole Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World session on the event page.

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Related topics:
IndiaInequalityGeo-economicsGeopoliticsGender Inequality
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