Davos 2017 to discuss 'Responsive and responsible leadership'
The 47th World Economic Forum, which annually brings together leading representatives of political and business elites, will open in the Swiss ski resort of Davos today. About 50 heads of state and government, including the British Prime Minister Theresa May, the South African President Jacob Zuma, President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko, as well as China's President Xi Jinping will take part in the forum this year. 2,5 thousand businessmen from more than 1140 countries are expected to arrive in Davos.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau and French President Francois Hollande will not take part in the forum.
This year's theme is "responsive and responsible leadership", which the WEF says "requires recognising that frustration and discontent are increasing in the segments of society that are not experiencing economic development and social progress". "People have become very emotionalised, this silent fear of what the new world will bring," WEF founder Klaus Schwab said.
The top executives, financiers, academics and politicians will be talking a lot about such non-establishment leaders as President-elect Donald Trump, France’s National Front chief Marine Le Pen and Italian populist Beppe Grillo of the Five Star Movement. But they won’t be meeting them. Not one of the leaders bent on overturning the world order as Davos has designed it will be present, Bloomberg reports.
As for the United States, the incoming Trump administration will be represented by adviser Anthony Scaramucci, a financier who has attended Davos in the past. The US Vice President Joe Biden, the Secretary of State John Kerry and the former Vice President Al Gore will also be attending the forum.
This year’s conference agenda makes clear the degree of anxiety. Sessions include a panel of psychology experts offering thoughts on “cultivating appropriate emotions in a time of nationalist populism.” Another, titled “Squeezed and Angry: How to Fix the Middle Class Crisis,” will star International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde alongside hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio. Among them are also "Politics of Fear or Rebellion of the Forgotten?", "Tolerance at the Tipping Point?" and "The Post-EU Era".
The World Economic Forum is devoting 15 sessions of its 2017 annual meeting to climate change, and nine more to clean energy -- the most ever on the issues.
The Russian delegation includes the new Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin, the Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, and the First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.
Advisor on macroeconomics to the CEO of the 'Opening-Broker' brokerage house, economist Sergey Hestanov, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that the participation in the Davos forum is not so important for Russia this year. "Davos was important for Russia when our economy was growing, and there were significant foreign investment into it. But since the fall of 2014, the interest of foreign investors in Russia has decreased considerably, primarily because of the sanctions, and therefore, Russia's interest in participating in this forum has declined," he expects.
"Most likely, this will be true not only for this but also for next year, as long as our economy didn't become more attractive to investors - the level of Russian representation in Davos will be quite low in the composition of delegations The presence of the Minister of Economic Development is not an urgent need, it is rather a tribute to tradition. For example, China's interest in the forum is only growing, this year Beijing sent a record delegation to Davos," Sergei Hestanov added.
A member of the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, agreed with Hestanov, explaining the futility of Davos-2017 for Russia by the concentration of the forum and its members on intra-European issues. "In the past, the organizers of the forum, the Western countries, felt that they are in the zone of untouchable development in all spheres, and now it turned out that they are not immune from the upheavals neither in economy, nor in politics, nor in society. Hence the economic crisis, the refugee problem and the loss of popularity of the traditional parties. In this regard, the current Davos will be an attempt of the West to find a new successful model of development," he said.
At the same time, Russia's presence at the Davos forum is necessary, and therefore it is a right thing that the new head of the Economic Ministry Maxim Oreshkin is taking part in it. "In Davos, there is an opportunity to personally talk with the people who shape economic and public policy," Vladimir Olenchenko believes.