June 25, 2017: The ninth Horasis India Meeting took place in Interlaken, Switzerland on the 25-26th of June, 2017. This meeting was hosted by the Bern Economic Development Agency and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) attracting more than 250 Indian and global business leaders and government officials to Interlaken and the Bern region. Mr Ajit Gulabchand, Chairman and Managing Director, HCC participated as a Co-Chair in this meeting.
Horasis is an independent think tank based in Switzerland which regularly organises high-calibre meetings with global heads of industry. The focus of these meeting was on growth markets of China, India, Russia and Middle East. Through this meeting, Horasis aims to present an interdisciplinary and systemic view of India and its position in the political and commercial world, reviewing drivers across all the sectors that contribute to its present and future well-being. Representatives of the Indian government and from country’s leading companies sit down to discuss a range of current topics and issues. Representatives of governments from other countries, who have close links with India, also attended the Horasis India Meeting.
The Meeting began with its traditional virtual ribbon cutting ceremony when co-hosts and the Chair declared the meeting ‘open’. The first action was a Brainstorming Session mapping India’s Transformation as it moves from domestic focus to become a more outward going globalized economy. Another plenary discussion focused upon “Ensuring the Growth that Matters”, with Michael Carlos, member of the Supervisory Board, Givaudan, Switzerland contrasting Switzerland and India, noting the former was both interventionist yet minimal. And that the Swiss education system with a lesser focus on sending everyone to university allowed most young people to develop their skills during apprenticeships – learning while working and being paid. Ultimately an apprentice could rise to be a CEO.
Expressing his views during this session Mr Gulabchand said; “Education in India was too controlled by the state with old concepts from the Soviet times lingering in planning systems. Instead, a well-managed state/private mix could be allowed.”
The landmark initiatives taken by the Government of India such as – Make In India (a positive contrast to Made in India), Digital India, Skill India, Smart City Mission, Start-Up India, Stand-Up India and Ease Of Doing Business initiatives are going to boost economic growth in India. These changes are supported by India’s sectoral reforms including Agriculture, Industrial, Corporate & Services sector. Infrastructure development and banking performance measurement are key drivers for India’s economic growth and development. It was also discussed how GST, once fully operational after its launch on July 01, 2017 will free-up pan Indian trade as well as increase its tax revenues via more easily interpreted rulings.
At this year’s meeting, Swiss Secretary of State Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch highlighted the fact that Switzerland and India have recently concluded a number of bilateral agreements in the business field. In addition, former Federal Councillor Kaspar Villiger called upon the attendees to help promote equality and justice in the Indian sub-continent and show their support for democracy.