Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the ninth most powerful person in the world, according to American business magazine Forbes.

Special Correspondent

PM Modi is placed behind Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian Premier Vladimir Putin, who rank number one and two respectively, on the publication's annual list. Putin was displaced by Xi, who over the past few months has consolidated power in China.

The list released in 2018 is for the year 2017. PM Modi's position on the list is the same as the previous two lists.

However, the biggest change in the list was at the top, where Xi Jinping climbed three spots to dethrone Vladimir Putin, who was named the world's most powerful person for four years in a row.

US President Donald Trump, who was placed number two on last year's list, dropped a spot to third, ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos and Pope Francis.

Billionaire Bill Gates and Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammad bin Salman, who has been in the spotlight for a series of so-called reforms effected in the kingdom, are the two other people ahead of PM Modi.

The top ten list is rounded off by Larry Page, the co-founder of Google.

According to Forbes, there are 17 new names on the list this year. This includes Mohammad bin Salman, who enters the ranking directly at number eight. "His father remains king, but "MBS" has consolidated power beyond any doubt and taken control of the country," the magazine writes about the Saudi royal.

The list of the world's most powerful people was, Forbes says, compiled on the basis of the candidates' "power over lots of people", "financial resources", "power in multiple spheres" and "active used their power".