What to expect from Davos 2019?

(VOVWORLD) - The annual conference World Economic Forum is taking place in Davos, Switzerland, this week. Themed “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the 4th Industrial Revolution”, this year’s Davos gathering is not attended by key leaders.
What to expect from Davos 2019? - ảnh 1

Political, economic issues dominate

Since WEF 2018, global trade and diplomacy have been discussed endlessly. Since President Donald Trump announced tariffs on Chinese importsin January 2018, the US has imposed tariffs on 250 billion USD worth of Chinese imports and China has responded tit-for-tat on 110 billion USD worth of American goods. The US Federal government is now partially shut down in a dispute over building a border wall to keep out illegal immigrants. Brexit is in chaos with the deadline just a few weeks away.

Populism is rising in Europe. A far right party has become the ruling party in Italy. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced her withdrawal from politics and resigned as leader of the Christian Democratic Union Party. French President Emmanuel Macron is struggling with prolonged violent protests in Paris.

Populist candidates have won elections in Brazil, Austria, and Hungary. Protectionism is increasing and multilateralism is weakening. These trends are expected to continue throughout the year.

Cybercrime, environmental threats, and geopolitical changes are posing grave risks to the world. A recent WEF report warned that global risks are growing and joint efforts to deal with those risks have been woefully inadequate.

Is globalization promoted at Davos?

The 2019 Davos Forum has convened officials of more than 100 governments and CEOs of more than 1,000 companies, who will seek some way to effectively address these serious global problems.

But recent developments have lowered public expectations. President Donald Trump canceled his attendance, dashing any hope of seeing a breakthrough in the US-China trade war. UK Prime Minister Theresa May also canceled her trip to Davos after failing to get the House of Commons to approve her Brexit plan. French President Emmanuel Macron could not attend because of his country’s continuing “yellow vest” protests. China’s President Xi Jingping  and India’s Prime Minister Narenda Modi were also too busy to attend.

The WEF’s Global Challenge Report 2019 warned that political confrontations between world powers could scuttle efforts to combat climate change and cybercrime. Though the WEF provides a forum for the world’s richest and most powerful people to discuss global economic, political, and social issues, the absence of so many key leaders reveals a lack of shared commitment to finding solutions right now.