India is the world’s fastest-expanding major economy. With annual growth expected to be more than 7% in the coming years.
But alongside that opportunity comes a range of challenges: India is still home to 176 million poor people, and digital growth is hampered by inequality, with many women in rural areas lacking access to, or awareness of, the internet.
Inclusion and technology are topping the agenda at the World Economic Forum’s 33rd India Economic Summit in New Delhi on 3-4 October 2019. This year’s theme is Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World.
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More than 800 leaders from 40 countries will take part in the event, with co-chairs including Sheikh Hasina, Prime Minister of Bangladesh, and Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Singapore.
The summit also brings together leading cultural figures, technology pioneers and scientists to help accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies, such as artificial intelligence and drones, and boost the growth potential of the South Asian region. There will be particular focus on education and skills; gender parity; and India’s environmental reforms.
From India to the world
What is the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit 2019?
Under the theme, Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World, the World Economic Forum's India Economic Summit 2019 will convene key leaders from government, the private sector, academia and civil society on 3-4 October to accelerate the adoption of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies and boost the region’s dynamism.
Hosted in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the aim of the Summit is to enhance global growth by promoting collaboration among South Asian countries and the ASEAN economic bloc.
The meeting will address strategic issues of regional significance under four thematic pillars:
• The New Geopolitical Reality – Geopolitical shifts and the complexity of our global system
• The New Social System – Inequality, inclusive growth, health and nutrition
• The New Ecological System – Environment, pollution and climate change
• The New Technological System – The Fourth Industrial Revolution, science, innovation and entrepreneurship
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This year’s Summit will discuss deeper collaboration between South Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) – a group that includes Thailand, Singapore, and Indonesia, countries well advanced on the path to digitalization.
There will also be sessions on the changing geopolitical landscape and climate change.
According to a Moody’s report on the economic implications of global warming, India’s climate and demographics make it particularly susceptible to climate change. The country is also engaged in a geopolitical shift; building new relationships with both China and the United States.
Since 2016, the World Economic Forum has been supporting India’s move towards smart cities, recommending both business environment and administrative reforms to help city authorities navigate a path to a more integrated digital future.