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Davos meets amid sunshine and war

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1 個月前

STORY: It’s a very different kind of Davos.

The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting of business and world leaders is back, after a hiatus due to the global health crisis.

And a move from January to May means the elites gather amid spring sunshine, not deep snow.

But the conflict in Ukraine casts a long shadow.

Monday (May 23) saw the event begin in earnest with an address by Ukrainian leader Volodomyr Zelenskiy:

"Do not wait for more fatal attacks, do not wait for Russia to use special weaponry, chemical, biological, God forbid nuclear. Do not allow for the aggressor to feel that the world's opposition is not decisive enough. Act straight away and in the strongest fashion to defend freedom and the normal order, order that is beneficial for everyone in the world."

Ukraine clearly does top the agenda.

What is usually the Russia House on Davos’s main street has been transformed into a photo exhibition depicting the conflict.

Related issues - from food supplies to the global energy crisis - feature heavily on the agenda.

But familiar Davos themes haven’t gone away.

Opening the event, WEF Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab outlined some:

“The issue of climate change and all the other issues related to the preservation of nature. And finally, we look at the future of the global economy with great concerns. Too high inflation, too low growth, too many debts.”

Meanwhile, out on the main street, cryptocurrency firms are again out in force, despite the recent crash for bitcoin and rivals.

Besides being sunnier though, this year’s event is also smaller.

Delegate numbers are down by about a fifth, with regulars like JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon among the absentees.

Some other familiar faces are notable by their absence.

This year, Russia’s oligarchs and business leaders didn’t get an invite.

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