WEF kicks off with focus on economic downturn


Climate change is a hot topic as leaders meet to discuss balancing economic growth with sustainability…reports Asian Lite News

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has kicked off its 54th meeting in Davos amid an atmosphere of uncertainty about when the global downturn will reverse and when the rising inflation in most countries will be reined in.

Topping the list of the WEF’s agenda is the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which is threatening to enter a wider theatre of conflict in the Middle East, and the Russian-Ukraine war that has now entered the second year and has disrupted global supply chains for raw materials needed for the infrastructure growth.

Ukraine President Volodomyr Zelensky on Tuesday addressed the gathering drawing attention to his country’s plight with the advent of the Russian invasion.

Other nations expressed concern that if the war was not halted other countries would advance their territorial ambitions to their neighbouring countries. The WEF will conclude on Jan 19th.

The gathering of the WEF in an alpine village in Switzerland has a long history of hosting the powerful in politics, business and culture.

Political, business and other elites have gathered here to tackle the thorniest of problems, from war to inequality to climate change.

Conflict in the Middle East, trust in governmental and business institutions, and climate change are to dominate the proceedings.

The event includes speeches, dialogues among groups, panels on a variety of topics, and various sidebar conversations and after-hours social gatherings that are often a hot ticket.

Over the years, the gathering has seen some big names, including sitting US Presidents (Bill Clinton and Donald Trump), a former political prisoner (Nelson Mandela), a prophet of climate change (Jacques Yvez-Cousteau) and close-to-countless prime ministers (Tony Blair), corporate titans (Bill Gates, Rupert Murdoch) and cultural icons (Bono), media reports said.

The 2024 event is not without its star attractions and as in years past — often famous people who are not listed ahead of time also show up. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, French President Emmanuel Macron, new Argentine President Javier Milei and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres are listed as planning to attend.

This year’s conference comes on the heels of a report released by think tank The Conference Board detailing findings of business leaders, which showed a global economic downturn and inflation, are among the top concerns of CEOs worldwide.

Over 60 heads of state to attend conference

Over 60 heads of state will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this year, media reports said.

Some of the dignitaries include Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, French President Emmanuel Macron and China’s second-in-command Li Qiang.

The US will be represented by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, CNN reported.

Business executives including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan and BlackRock CEO Larry Fink, will also attend the event.

With several major countries approaching pivotal elections this year (half the world’s population is going to the polls in 2024), leaders are concerned about how these events might reshape international alliances and economic policies.

Climate change is a hot topic as leaders meet to discuss balancing economic growth with sustainability.

The WEF summit comes just days after scientists around the globe reported that the average temperatures last year reached a new record high. That change has propelled the world just hundredths of a degree away from a critical climate threshold, CNN reported.

The WEF’s Global Risks report, published last week, found climate change to be one of the biggest risks facing the world.

The World Bank said last week that the global economy is likely to slow to its worst half decade of growth in the past 30 years. Without “a major course correction,” the bank said, this will be “a decade of wasted opportunity.”

With conflict in Europe and the Middle East and growing tensions between the US and China, geopolitics will be another major topic of conversation.

On Sunday, the leaders discussed Ukrainian President Zelensky’s 10-point peace plan to end Russia’s war with his country. Zelensky is expected to give a speech on Tuesday and meet with JPMorgan’s Dimon, CNN reported.

Israeli President Herzog, meanwhile, will participate in a conversation about “achieving security and cooperating in a fractured world,” with US Secretary of State Blinken and WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab later this week.

ALSO READ-Invest Karnataka Forum Plans Sectoral Sub-Groups for Focused Investment

[mc4wp_form id=""]