Protectionism is as dangerous as terrorism and climate change, says Modi

At World Economic Forum’s annual summit in Davos, he decries new trade barriers.

January 23, 2018 11:49 pm | Updated November 28, 2021 08:10 am IST - Davos

 Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday sent out a strong message against protectionism and inward-focused economic policies, saying such tendencies could be as dangerous as terrorism and climate change.

Mr. Modi, who became the first Indian Prime Minister to address the World Economic Forum’s annual summit here in two decades, also talked terrorism, a major grave concerns facing the world. What was worse was people saying there was a difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terror. It was painful to see some youngsters getting radicalised, he said.

In an almost hour-long speech in Hindi, he sought to hard sell India as an investment destination, saying those wanting wealth with wellness and peace with prosperity should come to the country.

‘heaven of freedom’

Mr. Modi emphasised that a predictable, stable, transparent and progressive India  was good news in an otherwise uncertain global environment. “Let us create a ‘heaven of freedom’, where there is cooperation and not division, fractures,” he said.

India was proud of its democracy and diversity and the country had always contributed to global peace as well as promoted values of integration and unity, he said.

Seen as an apparent reference to policies like 'America First', especially since U.S. President Donald Trump would be coming to Davos later this week, Mr. Modi said, “Many countries are becoming inward focused and globalisation is shrinking and such tendencies can’t be considered lesser risk than terrorism or climate change.”


Protectionism is rearing its ugly head and there is risk of new tariff and non-tariff barriers coming up, the Prime Minister said, as he mentioned that division was not the solution to this problem of anti-globalisation.

While noting that in an interconnected world, globalisation was losing its lustre, he wondered, “Do global organisations created after the Second World War really reflect the aspirations and dreams of mankind today? With respect to the developing countries there is a very big gap.”

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