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World Economic Forum Summit Begins Tomorrow; PM Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping To Speak

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Six-day online Davos Agenda Summit of the World Economic Forum begins Sunday.

New Delhi/Davos:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese premier Xi Jinping will be among the top world leaders who will participate in the six-day online Davos Agenda Summit of the World Economic Forum (WEF), beginning on Sunday.

In what could be the first major global summit of the year, the event will see more than 1,000 global leaders, including heads of state and government, CEOs and chairmen of big companies, heads of multilateral organisations as also members of academia and civil society, discuss economic, environmental, social and technological challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WEF said there would be 15 special addresses from G20 heads of state and government and international organisations during the summit from January 24-29. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his address on Thursday.

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, as also business leaders such as Anand Mahindra, Salil Parekh and Shobana Kamineni would be among other speakers from India.

While the WEF will host its physical annual meeting in May in Singapore, as against the regular venue of the Swiss ski resort town of Davos, the Geneva-based organisation is hosting this online event, named ”Davos Agenda” around the same time it generally hosts its yearly congregation of the rich and powerful of the world.

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The event has been billed as a platform that will see top world leaders deliver special addresses and engage in dialogue with business leaders at the start of a “crucial year to rebuild trust”.

The opening ceremony on Sunday evening will begin with a welcome address by WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab, followed by a special address by Swiss Confederation President Guy Parmelin, presentation of the annual Crystal Awards and the world premiere of “See Me: A Global Concert.”

The concert will be presented as a shared expression of trust, connection and hope and it features orchestras and choirs in Beijing, Drakensberg, Florence, Kabul, Philadelphia, Vienna and Sao Paulo, with the cellist Yo-Yo Ma and music director Marin Alsop. The concert was filmed on location despite the COVID-19 challenges.

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