What to expect at Davos 2023

Under the theme of "Cooperation in a Fragmented World," top figures shaping global politics and the business world will attend this week’s 53rd annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.

The meeting, which starts Monday, will bring together more than 2,700 leaders from 130 countries including 50 heads of state or government, as multiple crises deepen divisions and fragment the geopolitical landscape.

This year will also see the highest-ever business participation at Davos, with more than 370 public figures from governments and international organizations, and more than 1,500 business leaders and 90 innovators.

The meeting will also see the attendance of 56 finance ministers, 19 central bank heads, 30 trade ministers, and 35 foreign ministers.

Among top political leaders attending the summit are German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission President Roberta Metsola, Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin, Polish President Aleksandar Vucic, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.

The heads of Spain, the Philippines, South Africa, and South Korea will also appear at the Swiss ski resort.

US Climate Envoy John Kerry, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and Turkish economist and energy expert Fatih Birol, executive director of International Energy Agency, will also take part in the event.

Laurence Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, an American multinational investment company, will be there as well.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his government is preparing to attend Davos, adding that he has been in touch with Fink about the reconstruction effort after the end of the continuing war, which is about to enter its 12th month.

"Specialists of this company are already helping Ukraine to structure the fund for the reconstruction of our state," said Zelenskyy, who had a video call with Fink in September, he said in an address to the nation.

Anti-Davos, climate change protests expected

Hundreds of activists are expected to protest at Davos against global firms for worsening human-made damage to the environment.

They have also been criticizing the Davos elite, accusing them of elitism and hypocrisy due to – for instance – flying in private jets to discuss climate change.

Reports showed private jet emissions quadrupled as over 1,000 planes flew in and out of airports serving Davos at last year’s summit.

Authorities typically tightly restrict the location and attendance of demonstrations, typically permitting gatherings of up to 500 people.

But demonstrators may attempt to block traffic on the main A28 highway leading to Davos.

Swiss authorities have taken tight security measures throughout Davos, deploying thousands of additional security personnel to the town, likely checkpoints on routes into Davos, and restricting traffic on certain roads in the town center.

Further demonstrations in Davos are likely during the course of the event.

Where is globalization going?

"Where is globalization going?" is the biggest question that the Davos forum will be focusing on as the traumas of COVID-19 and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war have convinced some that the imminent era of globalization is coming to an end.

In that context, the conference looks set to assess systemic disruptions and continue its advocacy for globalization.

It is traditionally concerned with globalization failures, but amid the continuing impact of COVID-19, climate change, and the ongoing war, its effect has been on a daily decline.

Source: Anadolu Agency