World leaders flock to Davos yearly meeting

Ben Southwood
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THE WORLD’S most prominent policymakers, economists and businessmen will on Wednesday descend on Davos to hammer out a consensus on building sustainable growth.

The small Swiss village will host close to 50 heads of state or government and more than 1,500 business leaders, as well as top academics and representatives from charities and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), convening for the 2013 World Economic Forum (WEF).

This, the 43rd annual meeting, is centred on “resilient dynamism” – discussing how the global economy can recover from shocks such as the Eurozone crisis – and will feature speakers as diverse as former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and internet innovator Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble will discuss the global economic outlook alongside incoming Bank of England governor Mark Carney, in just one of hundreds of sessions over the five-day forum.

Other highlights include a discussion on global development featuring UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

WEF was set up in 1971 as a non-profit organisation. Since 1974 the annual meeting in Davos-Klosters has been centred around economic and social issues and the organisation claims to have had an impact on many of the key developments of the post-war era, including the end of South African apartheid, German reunification and the Chinese move toward capitalism.

■ At 9am on Wednesday, 2012 Nobel Laureate in economics Alvin Roth will host a session called “An Idea with Alvin Roth”.

■ At 11am on Wednesday, WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell will host a discussion on future economic growth.

■ “China 2020: Vision Meets Reality” will be a discussion on reform on China, at 3.45pm on Wednesday. Contributing will be economists Xu Xiaonian and Kenneth Rogoff and Chinese Communist Party politician Li Jingtia.

■ Controversial former Harvard University President and White House economic guru Larry Summers will talk about the US public sector at 5pm Wednesday.

■ IMF boss Christine Lagarde will speak on Wednesday at 6.10pm.

■ Thursday at 10.30am will see a special address from UK Prime Minister David Cameron. His chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne will talk about the challenges facing the UK, Europe and the global economies at 2.45pm that day.

■ Another European leader – Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel – will address the forum at 2.15pm Thursday.

■ Inventor of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee will tell the forum what’s wrong with social networking at 10.15am on Friday.

■ New Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer will share her “breakthrough ideas on the future of technology” in an 11.15am session on Friday.

■ The King of Jordan will give a special address at 2.15pm on Friday.