World Economic Forum in India Highlights

World Economic Forum in India Highlights

World Economic Forum in India was held in Delhi on October 3 and 4 with the theme “Innovating for India: Strengthening South Asia, Impacting the World.”

Yatti Soni from Inc42 shared her takeaways from the recently concluded 33rd India Economic Summit. 

Here are some of the key items from the World Economic Forum in India:

Technologies to make a more significant impact on communities

The plan for a six-month pilot aptly called ‘Medicines from the Sky’ was formalised by the government of the state of Telangana. The collaboration with Apollo Hospitals and the WEF for the project is expected to start in 2020.

WEF collaborated with drone startups to help increase healthcare access for communities in the Telangana state. 

Additionally, WEF released a report that shows India’s potential to become the largest electric vehicle (EV) market in the world. This paved the way for EV industry players and concerns on market adaptability.

Christoph Wolff, WEF’s Head of Mobility, said:

“The role of government is crucial for accelerating adoption. Right now, the uptake of electric vehicles is slow due to the high upfront cost and range anxiety, but a long-term investment in research and development (R&D) will create sustained growth.”

Startups to receive attention

Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade of India’s secretary Guruprasad Mohapatra said that one of the government’s commitments include spreading its startup mission to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities within the next five years. He also said that the government is working on providing startups with room for experimentation and developments without implementing tight regulatory boundaries.

Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog’s CEO, said that the government is working to ensure funding for Indian startups. He also pushed for Indian startups to build the courage to take risks and enter the international market.

In separate sessions, Sequoia Capital India’s Shailendra Singh and Kalaari Capital’s Vani Kola urged the government to allow startup IPOs despite the lack of profitability. The latter raised the need for structural reforms for startup access capital.

WEF in India puts a focus on policies

US Secretary Wilbur Ross said that India needs to have more balance in its e-commerce policy with considerations to the changes in regulations.

He said:

“I think it is the question of how rapidly things change. It is a question of proportionality, question of timing, and a question of balance.”

India’s commerce minister, Piyush Goyal, echoed Ross’ call for a balanced e-commerce policy stating that the government has to be very clear on creating e-commerce regulation for the protection of smaller retailers.

Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Group, said that personal tax rate should also be reduced because the decrease in demand has become visible. He further added that the government should push for it even if it meant increasing fiscal deficit.

India’s optimism about tech

An opinion poll organised by SAP and Qualtrics, with 10,000 respondents from 29 countries, revealed that Indians are among the world’s most optimistic people when it comes to technology.

More than 800 world leaders participants from academia, civil society, government, and private sectors attended the summit.

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