Curtain Raiser to the World Economic Forum@Davos; all you need to know about the event

World economic Forum, Davos, Switzerland, Narendra Modi, Prime minister of India, Donald Trump, BJP, Klaus Schwab, Christine Lagarde, Theresa May, Shah Rukh Khan, Elton John, Geneva,
Curtain Raiser on the World Economic Forum@Davos; all you need to know about the event

The World Economic Forum’s 48th Annual Meeting will take between 23 – 26 January 2018 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. This year, it will bring together a record number of heads of state, government and international organizations alongside leaders from business, civil society, academia, the arts and media.
It will see the congregation of world leaders and opinion makers in one place which, this year, is the largest till date. Here’s a lowdown on everything that you have wanted to know about this high voltage event.

What is Davos?
The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting is a four-day event that will attract over 2,500 participants this year. Davos is a popular Alpine ski resort where WEF takes place every January. No wonder that the forum’s title is now interchangeable with the town’s name and is known worldwide by that.
WEF is a Swiss non-profit, politically neutral organization that was founded by Klaus Schwab in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva.

What is WEF’s mission?
In simple terms, the Forum is ‘committed to improve the state of the world.’
It aims to do this by bringing together public and private stakeholders and provide them with a space to discuss shared interests and problems.
“We believe that progress happens by bringing together people from all walks of life who have the drive and the influence to make positive change,” WEF states.
It hopes that the dialogue will lead to shared action to tackle the world’s most pressing issues, such as, climate change and inequality.

What is the theme for 2018
Every year the Forum adopts a theme for discussion. The Forum’s theme in 2018 is ‘Creating a shared future in a fractured world’ stating that it ‘aims to rededicate leaders from all walks of life to developing a shared narrative to improve the state of the world.’

Intent of the Forum
The meetings will focus on finding ways to reaffirm international cooperation on crucial shared interests, such as international security, the environment and the global economy. The meeting comes at a time when geostrategic competition between states is seen to be on the rise.

Participants @Davos
Women participants are only 21% of the total, yet this year, the event is entirely co-chaired by seven women. This includes International Monetary Fund Director Christine Lagarde, IBM Chief Executive Ginni Rometty and Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. The all-female panel is seen as a response to criticism that the event lacks active representation from women.

Overall, the Annual Meeting will feature over 340 top political leaders with 10 heads of state and government from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa and six from Latin America.
1,900 business leaders from industries, 230 media representatives and almost 40 cultural leaders will also attend.
This year’s opening address will be delivered by Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India. Donald Trump, President of the United States of America, will deliver a keynote address before the close of the meeting.
This year a record number of leaders from G7 economies will participate, including Paolo Gentiloni, Prime Minister of Italy; Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission; Emmanuel Macron, President of France; Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; and Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, in addition to President Trump. Other than Prime Minister Modi, other leaders from the G20 include Liu He, Member, Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee; General Office Director, Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Affairs, People’s Republic of China; Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina, Cyril Ramaphosa, Deputy President of South Africa and Michel Temer, President of Brazil. From the host country, Alain Berset, President of the Swiss Confederation, will also participate.

Other well-known participants include actors Cate Blanchett, Shah Rukh Khan and musician Will.i.am and singer Elton John.

What happens in Davos?
The Forum holds multiple sessions, panels, speeches and seminars over the course of the 4 days.
Artificial intelligence, the digital economy, poverty, conflict and the gender pay gap are common themes for the sessions but there are many other alternative talk forums too. Many of the sessions will be webcast on the Forum’s website.

Who pays for Davos?
Membership and partnership fees ranges from 60,000 Swiss francs ($62,243) to 600,000 Swiss francs (around $622,000) depending on the level of engagement.
The Forum also gets its funding from government agencies that it works with on various projects and initiatives. Non-business participants like heads of state to leaders of the arts, do not pay to participate.
In the financial year 2016 to 2017, the WEF foundation reported a turnover of 280 million Swiss francs and a surplus of 1.2 million Swiss francs.

India @Davos
Narendra Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister to attend Davos in two decades, after HD Deve Gowda in 1997. Giant billboards of PM Modi telling the world that India means business will be showcased in Davos. He is one of the high focused head of state’s to arrive at the event and all eyes will be towards him as he talks about India’s plans for the future.
India has run brand campaigns to position the country as the world’s fastest-growing free market democracy. The Indian Prime Minister will highlight his government’s initiatives on increasing transparency, bankruptcy laws, ease of doing business, the Goods and Services Tax, and allowing 100% foreign direct investment in single-brand retail.

PM Modi will deliver the opening address at the meet. He reaches Switzerland on January 22nd and will also hold a bilateral meeting with Swiss Confederation president Alain Berset.

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