WEF Davos meet begins today

The event, to be held from January 25-29 in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos, will be attended by government heads, top business leaders and bankers from across the world.

Updated: Jan 25, 2012, 00:14 AM IST
New Delhi: The World Economic Forum`s Annual Meeting in Davos begins Wednesday where the rich and powerful from across the globe will converge to discuss the health of the global economy in the backdrop of the Swiss Alps.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will deliver the opening address.

The World Economic Forum (WEF), a Geneva-based non-profit organisation, said in a pre-summit statement that Merkel will give the opening address at its 42nd Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, to be held from January 25 to 29.

The event is held in the Swiss alpine resort of Davos every year and is attended by government heads, top business leaders and bankers from across the world.

Several business leaders and Union ministers from India are also expected to participate in the meeting.

The WEF said this year`s event would see record participation by 2,600 leaders and would be attended by representatives from 19 of the G-20 countries, including the heads of government of Mexico, South Africa and the UK.

The theme of this year`s Davos meet is `The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models`, the WEF said, adding that it reflected, "The need for a profound overhaul in the face of a fraying global system and lingering economic malaise.

"Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us. We have failed to learn the lessons from the financial crisis of 2009. A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility," WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab said.

The WEF said the event would be attended by close to 40 heads of state or government and more than 1,600 business leaders, besides social entrepreneurs, young global leaders and representatives from civil society, the media, academia and the arts.

The four sub-themes of the meet are `Growth and Employment Models`, `Leadership and Innovation Models`, `Sustainability and Resource Models` and `Social and Technological Models`.

Among others, the heads of state of countries like Canada, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Pakistan, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand and the UK would be present.

In addition, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Robert Zoellick will participate in the meeting, the WEF said.

The WEF Annual Meeting 2012 would be co-chaired by Takeda Pharmaceutical CEO Yasuchika Hasegawa, Citi CEO Vikram Pandit, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, Cinepolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Royal Dutch Shell CEO Peter Voser.