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Davos 2018: What to expect this year

Davos 2018: What to expect this year
Copyright REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Copyright REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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Here's what to expect from the 48th World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.


"Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World" will be the theme at this year's World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

The forum's organisers hope the attendees - including heads of state, business leaders, and celebrities -will look at ways of renewing their commitment to international cooperation in areas like technology, climate change, and the global economy,  according to a press release.

Protecting the global economy from another collapse

As a meeting that attracts many powerful business leaders and CEOs, discussions about how to protect the global economy from another financial collapse will emerge.

Finding a balance between "global cooperation" and protectionist policies to prevent "the collapse of the world order" is on the agenda.

With this goal in mind, business leaders will try to find ways to broaden the benefits of world trade for more people and protect national economies from crashing due to poorly managed pension systems.

The environment does matter

Another big area of discussion will be the environment and establishing how to meet the commitments set out by the Paris climate agreement to limit global warming.

Leaders will also look at ways to promote recycling initiatives with communities to decrease global waste.

"Fourth Industrial Revolution"

Also on the top of the agenda this year is "emerging technologies" and how they will change productivity patterns.

Forum attendees will discuss how some recent technologies have changed the working world and how society can best secure skillsets to adapt to these changes.

Tackling the gender gap will feature for the first time on the Davos agenda, and for the first time in the 48 years of the WEF summit will be chaired entirely by women.

The all-female co-chairs this year include Christine Lagarde, director of the International Monetary Fund, Erna Soldberg, prime minister of Norway, and IBM CEO Ginni Rometty.

Bad weather

The assembly could be hampered by severe weather on Thursday. The Swiss resort is currently blanketed by thick snow and the avalanche risk is high, but organisers say the weather should improve in time for the summit.

Speeches to look out for

Narendra Modi's opening address

Narendra Modi is the first prime minister to represent India at the forum in 20 years. He will deliver the opening address on Tuesday (January 23).

Modi is expected to promote India as an open economy ready to receive international investments, reported Times of India.

Donald Trump's closing remarks

Another highly anticipated speech is US President Donald Trump's closing remarks on Friday (January 26).

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders has said Trump will use his attendance at the forum to "advance his America First agenda with world leaders".


"At this year's World Economic Forum, the president looks forward to promoting his policies to strengthen American businesses, American industries, and American workers," said a statement.

Juncker's address

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is attending the WEF for the first time in two decades this year.

Observers say Juncker's participation is a sign that Europe is reclaiming its role as a champion of multilateralism after years spent dealing with internal crises.

Juncker, who last attended the forum when he was prime minister of Luxembourg, will address the summit on Thursday.


European leaders

Two days earlier German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to give a speech on European affairs. Merkel will speak the same day as French President Emmanuel Macron.

Euronews will be producing news and special programmes direct from Davos. Our correspondents Isabelle Kumar and Oleksandra Vakulina will be on the ground producing content for the web and TV.

Live on Thursday at 16.15 CET, Euronews' Kumar will be moderating a session called 'Europe between Vision and Dilemma' with the following panelists: Angel Gurría, secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Maurice Lévy of advertising company Publicis; Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki; Ursula von der Leyen, Federal Minister of Defence of Germany; and Jan-Werner Mueller, a politics professor at Princeton University. 

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