Reuters blog archive
from Expert Zone:
(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
It’s been an exciting week at Davos. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum this year was refreshingly different from previous editions. There is a general sense of optimism.
Although the effects of the recent crisis linger on, businesses and business leaders are acknowledging that we are seeing signs of recovery. In Davos, I had conversations with business leaders, heads of industry bodies, as also members of the academic and media fraternity. Each of these conversations resonated optimism.
(Pictures: World Economic Forum)
I also saw a few themes and points of view being discussed frequently, not only in my own conversations but also in several sessions at Davos. The most popular one was of the relevance of the theme of the annual meeting.
Everyone seemed to agree that the need of the hour is to reshape the world to ensure that every individual has equal access to an acceptable standard of living. The world of extremes in which we live today is not a sustainable one. The ever-increasing gap between the haves and the have-nots is unacceptable. More importantly, it is not conducive for socio-economic progress.
By Chris Hughes and Rob Cox
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.
Spare a thought for the business and financial elite as they slide along the icy byways of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Life is undeniably picking up for them and it would be nice to say so. But the economic recovery has its winners and losers, and it looks bad to be a beneficiary at a conference whose overarching theme is “inclusive growth.”
from Davos Notebook:
With 1,500 business leaders and up to 50 government officials in town for the World Economic Forum it shouldn't be a surprise that advertising messages in Davos are aimed at a different demographic than one would expect in even the most upscale of ski resorts.
The most popular source of ads are emerging nations attempting to attract investors with millions of dollars to sling around. For example many of the buses here tout former Soviet State Azerbaijan as the "Land of the Future."
By Christopher Hughes
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.
To feel good again, the world’s financial elite need a growth catalyst like the Internet. America’s shale gas revolution fits the bill. Ask delegates at the World Economic Forum in Davos for their 2013 outlook, and that simple idea features in most answers. It may only surface as a passing reference in conversations around the Swiss ski resort. But in the echo chamber of Davos, the notion that shale gas is a reason to be bullish has become common wisdom.
from Davos Notebook:
In its video presentation "Looking to 2060: A Global Vision of Long-term Growth," the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development predicts that China will soon surpass the United States to become the world's largest economy, and will account for 28 percent of global gross domestic product by 2030. The OECD also predicts that by 2060 the combined GDP of China and India will overtake that of the OECD economies. Meanwhile, Bain estimates that by 2020 emerging economies will account for two-thirds of global economic growth.
Without doubt, emerging countries are showing more resilience and promise than established economies in the Americas and the euro zone.
from Ian Bremmer:
Another year, another Davos. Last year’s World Economic Forum was overwhelmingly about Europe’s existential crisis. But Europe has quieted down, at least for now, and so we’re entering the first non-crisis Davos in years. But that doesn’t mean things have settled into, as Mohamed El-Erian puts it, a ‘new normal.’ It remains difficult to find markets with good risk/return, or an area of the world without serious geopolitical tensions.
Faced with this ‘new abnormal,’ where the only certainty is that shocks will arise from unexpected places, what is this year’s Davos about?
from Davos Notebook:
Improving the health of employees worldwide is vital to our global economic strength and growth. In the U.S. alone, the economic cost of chronic diseases is estimated at $1.3 trillion annually. The World Economic Forum’s Workplace Wellness Alliance was launched in 2010, and it has spent the years since driving home the critical importance of investing in workplace wellness.
This year, the Alliance is releasing a report that underscores a crucial ingredient to help our mission. Entitled “Making the Right Investment: Employee Health and the Power of Metrics,” the report focuses on the need to establish a common set of yardsticks that organizations can use to understand fully the impact of their wellness programs. It further demonstrates how imperative it is for all of us to work together to learn more about the ways we can encourage and enhance health and wellness in the workplace.
from Anya Schiffrin:
Thomson Reuters finance columnist Felix Salmon once noted that there is an inverse correlation between how important you are and how much time you actually spend at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Film stars, heads of state and the likes of Bill Clinton swoop in, speak on a prestigious panel, take a couple of important meetings and fly out within a day or two.
Things are very different in our house. After months of rending of hair and gnashing of teeth over the size of our invitation stack, we typically rock up on Monday or Tuesday, stay for the duration and tear ourselves away on Sunday afternoon after the black-tie gala; in 2011 there were all-you-can-eat Indian hors d’oeuvres and free shawls for everyone. While in Davos, we partake of everything we can: the pork-fat canapés at the Victor Pinchuk lunches, watching Imran Khan at the after-hour parties, attending university nightcaps (note to Columbia: please find a venue with at least one chair). We always drop by the Indian Adda in the Café Schneider for a cup of chai and, time permitting, we sign up for the free snow-shoeing lesson.
By Wei Gu
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.
Skies were unusually clear in the Chinese city of Tianjin this week as the World Economic Forum’s annual summer event took place. But there were two grey clouds: politics and the economy. Worries over both were hard to miss. Like China itself, there was a distinct feeling that the self-styled Asian gathering of the global elite had lost some of its sparkle.
from Thinking Global:
For all their bitter differences, President Obama and Governor Romney share one overwhelming challenge. Whoever is elected will face the growing reality that the greatest risk to global stability over the next 20 years may be the nature of America itself.
Nothing – not Iranian or North Korean nuclear weapons, not violent extremists or Mideast instability, not climate change or economic imbalances – will shape the world as profoundly as the ability of the United States to remain an effective and confident world player advocating its traditional global purpose of individual rights and open societies.