News

Davos Economic Forum Opens

The World Economic Forum has begun in Davos, Switzerland, gathering more than 2,400 politicians and business leaders to talk about the international economy and problems like climate change, poverty and the Middle East conflict. From Paris, Lisa Bryant has more for VOA on the four-day meeting.

This year's meeting at the Swiss resort of Davos is titled "The Shifting Power Equation."  The theme aims to look not only at emerging economic shifts, such as new world heavyweights India and China, but also other changes and concerns: instability in the Middle East, for example, or the consequences of global warming.

Klaus Schwab, the head of the World Economic Forum that hosts these annual meetings, noted in his opening address that some, but certainly not all, of these changes are positive.

"The economy is booming globally and the signs for this year continue to be promising," he said.  "But underneath geopolitical, geo-economic and societal developments are many question marks, many risks, many imbalances, many inconsistencies."

The main sessions and many smaller meetings during the next few days will focus on a number of issues: climate change, financial security, aid to Africa, and reviving stalled global trade talks.  Trade ministers are due to meet on the sidelines of the Davos forum on Saturday.

In Davos, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, whose country heads the G-8 summit this year and is the revolving European Union president, appealed for more economic liberalization and fairer rules of trade.  All countries will benefit from both changes, she said, including African ones.

"Beyond the headlines of the media, we can say for Africa that more growth, more sensible economic policies means less internal strife, means less armed conflict," she said.  "But there is still enormous risks to be shouldered.  And what we can do is help them stand on their own feet, to help them in their own capacity, for solving conflicts peacefully."

The Davos meetings end Sunday.  They include representatives from at least 50 countries, along with heads of state like Merkel and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs