The Davos Factbox

Last Updated: Jan 20, 2011, 00:39 AM IST

Zeebiz Bureau

Here are a few facts you should know about the annual World Economic Summit held in the Swiss mountains of Davos every year:

1) The World Economic Forum (WEF) is an independent organization.

2) The WEF was conceived in January 1971 by Klaus Schwab, a German-born professor of Business Policy at the University of Geneva.

3) Earlier, this forum was named European Management Forum which was a non-profit organization based in Switzerland and held its meetings in January every year.

4) The collapse of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate mechanism and the Arab-Israeli War in 1973 saw the focus of the meeting to expand from economic issues to social and political issues as well.

5) In January 1974 meet, political leaders were invited to the meet for the first time.

6) The meetings of WEF are always held in Davos, Switzerland. The first and only time when it was held outside Davos was in 2002 when it was held in New York as mark of camaraderie with the city after September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

7) In 1976, the EFM introduced a membership system that included 1,000 leading companies of the world.

8) The name of European Management Forum was changed to World Economic Forum in the year 1987.

9) During the 1988 WEF meet, Greece and Turkey signed "Davos Declaration" that saw them turn back from the brink of war.

10) The knowledge center of WEF, Centre for Strategic Insight, publish several competitive reports that comprise the Global Gender Gap Report, Global Risk reports and regional scenario reports.

11) The Forum provides a platform for the creation of a Disaster Resource Network, leveraging engineering and transportation industry firms’ resources to assist with disaster relief efforts.

12) Over 350 business leaders at the WEF’s Africa Economic Summit signed a declaration endorsing the Commission for Africa’s recommendations for the multibillion-dollar aid plan and presented the letter to G-8 leaders at their annual summit in 2005.

13) In the1994 WEF meet Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat reached an agreement on Gaza and Jericho.

14) The Forum becomes the first non-governmental institution to initiate a partnership with China`s economic development commissions, spurring economic reform policies in China in 1979.

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