The days when anti-capitalist protesters could rampage through Switzerland’s financial capital Zurich in rage at the Davos talkfest 100 miles (150 km) to the east are long gone.
A couple of hundred anti-globalisation activists managed to rally in the nearby town of St. Gallen on Saturday against the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum opening this week. Braving a vicious north-east wind, they assembled near the station then marched peacefully through the centre of town, barely disrupting the good burghers as they went about their weekend shopping. At the front of the demo a large red banner proclaimed: “Take the future from the capitalists – Smash the WEF”.
GENEVA, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Export restrictions are a prime
cause of current and recent surges in global food prices, and
countries should find other ways to secure domestic supplies,
the head of the World Trade Organization said on Saturday.
WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy said that only a few years
after the 2008 food crisis, rising prices were stoking global
inflation and fomenting political unrest in several countries.
GENEVA, Jan 21 (Reuters) – World exports have finally topped
levels last seen before the financial crisis that started in
2008, giving a further sign of global economic recovery, figures
from the Dutch CPB research institute showed on Friday.
The credit crunch and subsequent recession led to the
biggest slump in world trade since World War Two. Trade volumes
began to recover in mid-2009 and grew strongly in 2010 as firms
rebuilt inventories and took advantage of the economic upturn.
GENEVA, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Governments must work with
industry to restrict advertising of foods high in salt, sugar
and dangerous fats targeted at children to tackle an epidemic of
obesity and other diseases, health officials said on Friday.
The call is part of a focus on combating non-communicable
diseases — cancer, diabetes, heart and lung disease — that are
a growing cause of premature death in poor countries.
The theme of this year’s annual get-together of business and political leaders in Davos is “Shared norms for the new reality”.
One of the main examples of that new reality is the shift in political and economic power from West to East and North to South, according to Klaus Schwab, the founder and chairman of the World Economic Forum that organises the meeting. The change, cemented by the economic crisis, will cause upheaval, he told reporters.