Worst is over; bumps and opportunity go together: Wipro head

Wipro chairman and co-Chair of the WEF, Azim Premji, has said that the past 12-18 months have been very difficult for the global economy. However, he feels that the worst is over, and 2010 looks positive

The outlook for the global economy has turned positive this year and the worst is over, even though the road ahead is full of challenges, Wipro chairman and a co-Chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF) Azim Premji has said, reports PTI.

"The past 12-18 months have been very difficult for the global economy. However, I think the worst is over, 2010 looks positive," Mr Premji said in his message to global business and government leaders for the annual WEF meeting at Davos.

The road to recovery, however, would vary in different economies, he said. "While the mature economies are taking time, emerging economies like India, Brazil and China have already started to show smart growth recovery."

Mr Premji is the sole Indian chief executive officer (CEO) who has been placed among the top six global CEOs by the WEF, that has sought to influence policy-makers, businesses and civil societies across the world for the past four decades.

Mr Premji shares the position with Josef Ackermann, chairman of the management board of Deutsche Bank; Melinda French Gates, co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Peter Sands, group CEO, Standard Chartered Bank; Eric Schmidt, chairman of the executive committee and CEO, Google Inc; Ronald A Williams, chairman and CEO, Aetna and Patricia Woertz, chairman, president and CEO, Archer Daniels Midland.

Mr Premji, who could be often seen in a bus ferrying delegates from their hotels to the Congress Centre, the venue of the meeting, said he is particularly positive about the information technology industry. "It (IT) is the basic tool for efficiency and improvement. Given the challenges, most companies are looking at IT."

In fact, several Indian IT companies have posted better-than-expected results for the third quarter ended December.

This year's WEF meeting, which has a theme of 'rethink, redesign and rebuild the world', comes after 18 months of economic crisis and a global outcry for tackling climate change.

"These two issues seem almost disparate but to me they are not. They form the basis of my agenda as co-Chair. Both are global challenges and need co-ordinated, rapid and overwhelming response from the global community," Mr Premji said.

He said that the combination of economic crisis and tackling greenhouse gases presents an opportunity in terms of markets at the bottom of the economic pyramid and green growth.

However, the world needs to resolve issues like financing green technologies and increasing purchasing power of the poor in developing countries. The WEF meeting, which has 2,500 influential people participating, would try and deliberate on these issues.

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