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World Economic Forum 2019: What to expect at this year's Davos

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By Angela Barnes
A general view shows the mountain resort of Davos
A general view shows the mountain resort of Davos   -   Copyright  A general view shows the mountain resort of Davos   -   REUTERS

Leaders in politics and business are gathering in the mountain resort of Davos in Switzerland ahead of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.

It starts on Tuesday 22 January, and will wrap up on Friday 25 January.

What's on the agenda?

'Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution' is the theme this year.

According to the World Economic Forum's website, it picks up on two major trends - global cooperation challenges, and changes as a result of the high-tech digital revolution.

Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Chief Executive of the World Economic Forum, explained:

“This fourth wave of globalization needs to be human-centred, inclusive and sustainable. We are entering a period of profound global instability brought on by the technological disruption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the realignment of geo-economics and geopolitical forces.

"We need principals from all stakeholder groups in Davos to summon the imagination and commitment necessary to tackle it,” he added.

Globalization 4.0 | The Geopolitical Challenges

The theme will be explored over 350 sessions

The conversations covered will include geopolitics in a multiconceptual world, the future of the economy, industry systems and technology policy, risk resilience to promote systems thinking, human capital and society, and global institutional reform.

Who is attending?

The meeting will host more than 3,000 participants from 115 economies.

Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, is attending to discuss his work on mental health, another key topic this year.

Sir David Attenborough will also be there as a Crystal Award winner, recognised for harnessing culture to promote positive change.

Political leaders attending include:

  • Ueli Maurer, President of the Swiss Confederation 2019 and Federal Councillor of Finance of Switzerland

  • Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

  • Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil

  • Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany

  • Wang Qishan, Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China

  • Giuseppe Conte, Prime Minister of Italy

  • Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain

  • Barham Salih, President of Iraq

  • Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

  • Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria

  • Ivan Duque, President of Colombia

  • Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minster of Ethiopia

Workers prepare the stage for the annual meetingREUTERS
  • Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland

  • Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel

  • Faiez Al Serrag, Prime Minister of Libya

  • Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands

  • Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand

  • Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway

  • Rami Hamdallah, Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority

  • Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda

  • Cyril M. Ramaphosa, Prime Minister of South Africa

  • Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda

  • Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam

  • Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe

Snow-covered mountains are seen behind the congress centre, the venue of the World Economic ForumREUTERS

Leader figures from global charities will also be attending, including Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, Jennifer Morgan, executive director of Greenpeace International - and Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch.