Switzerland: Davos forum celebrates 50 years – Economy

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The “World Economic Forum” (WEF), a cozy gathering since 1971 of entrepreneurs and political leaders in the ski resort of Graubunden (Switzerland), would like to be a “center of reflection” on the future.

But, like all major international events, it is especially likely to reflect the multiple global divides. And what better way to illustrate them than the two star guests of his first day on Tuesday.

Greta Thunberg, 17, returns to Davos for the second year in a row, to summon the international community and the business community to act in the face of the climate emergency.

Will she meet Donald Trump there, with whom she multiplies the tense exchanges via Twitter, and to whom she had cast during the United Nations general assembly that harsh look, immortalized by a camera?

The American president, who had already come to Davos in 2018, will deliver his speech the same day that the American senators will start his dismissal trial.

In the background of his intervention, tensions between Washington and Tehran, after the elimination of General Soleimani in Baghdad, followed by reprisals and the crash of a Ukrainian Boeing accidentally shot down by Iran.

Originally expected in Davos, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has finally canceled, but Iraqi President Barham Saleh will be present.
The Economic Forum, which lasts until Friday, will also take stock of the commercial and technological offensives launched by Washington.

A few days after the signing on Wednesday of a preliminary Sino-American trade agreement, marking a truce after two years of tensions, Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng will lead an official delegation to Davos.

“Existential challenge”

Among other big bosses – including tech – several Chinese entrepreneurs are also expected in Graubunden county, including Ren Zhengfei, the emblematic founder of Huawei.

The Chinese telecoms giant has been banned from the United States, which is calling on its allies to break up with it, raising fears of a “technological cold war”.

Europe will be represented among others by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“Regarding climate change and many conflicts like that with Iran, the United States and European leaders do not agree on the solutions to be adopted, but also on the very nature of the problems,” observes Jeremy Shapiro, research director of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

For Europeans, the climate is “an existential challenge”, while it is only a “Chinese lie” for Donald Trump, while positions differ strongly on Iran and the 2015 nuclear deal.

“There is nothing to suggest a solid foundation for developing joint solutions to the thorny global problems,” said Jeremy Shapiro at AFP.

The digital tax instituted by Paris is another bone of contention with Washington. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire will meet US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin on the sidelines of the Forum.

“Fog of uncertainty”

In a report released ahead of the Forum, the WEF highlights popular dissatisfaction with the lack of economic stability, climate change, accelerated loss of biodiversity and unequal access to the “key challenges for humanity”. Internet and health systems.

“The world can no longer wait for the fog of geopolitical and economic uncertainties to dissipate (…) Choosing to hold in the current period hoping that the system will return to normal is to risk wasting windows of crucial opportunity, “he notes.

However, Donald Trump should not moderate in Davos his positions on trade or his environmental policy, anticipates Carlos Pascual, former American diplomat who has become vice-president of the cabinet IHS Markit.

“He should take this opportunity to send a message to the Americans, not to the international community,” he said. While Donald Trump plays in his re-election in November, “the objective will be to insist with the voters in the United States that his number one priority in matters of international politics, always remains America First”.
(Afp / nxp)

Created: 17.01.2020, 08h28

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