The Global Economic Forum, which starts January 22nd in Davos, Switzerland, will unite the world’s political and economic elite. Yet the U.S. President, French President and British Prime Minister will not be in attendance. The organizers say this event is taking place at a crucial moment of transformative change.
These notable absences of May, Trump and Macron come from an extensive list of 70 heads of state and more than 300 ministers who, together with scholars, artists and personalities from civil society, will focus on this year’s topic: ‘Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”’.
Just one year ago, Donald Trump became the center of attention at Davos. This year, Trump had planned to present his Administration’s successes, but ended up canceling due to the partial government shutdown. Meanwhile, Macron said that he will not be able to attend due to the crisis in France over the so-called “yellow vest” protests.
Fully immersed in the Brexit process, Theresa May will also not attend. However, the World Economic Forum announced that many countries will be attending, including Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez; German Chancellor Angela Merkel; Iranian President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani; and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, together with several South American presidents.
Among them are the recently elected Presidents of Brazil (Jair Bolsonaro) and Colombia (Iván Duque). Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that he would not be able to attend Davos due to responsibilities that required his presence in his home country. Nevertheless, Mexico will send the second largest delegation from Latin America after Brazil, with 21 and 24 members, respectively.
From the economic world, 1,700 business executives will attend, representing the majority of the most important companies in stock markets around the world. In representation of the Spanish business community, BBVA Group Executive Chairman Carlos Torres Vila and his Head of Global Economics & Public Affairs, José Manuel González-Páramo, have confirmed their attendance.
Also in attendance during these four days of intense debate at Davos will be the winners of the Crystal Award, orchestra conductor Marin Alsop, film director Haifaa Al-Mansour and broadcaster and environmentalist Sir David Attenborough.
Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab reported that this annual meeting unites the most leaders from all sectors of society “not to discuss current crises, but the future and the opportunities it holds.”
The breadth of topics covered in the four-day annual meeting’s debate agenda far exceeds that of any other international summit. Also, as the Forum explained in a press release, culture & the arts will be promoted as tools to foster change in three key areas: disabilities, biodiversity and freedom of speech, youth and diversity.