The economic planet | A sad Davos

It’s not just the scenery that’s unique this year in Davos. The discourse of the meeting of the political and economic elites for the first time in two years was the same.

Posted on May 30th

Helene Baril

Helene Baril
The Press

The World Economic Forum, held in January against the white backdrop of the Swiss Alps since its formation 50 years ago, ended in darkness on Thursday. The event promised to be happy, as the world will slowly but surely emerge from the pandemic to return to economic growth and a certain normalcy.

The reality of the war in Ukraine, broken supply chain, runaway inflation and the impending food crisis came to the party. We are far from the successful globalization of the golden years of Davos.

No star came to add a bit of glamor to the event. Several big business names have made it to the trip, and heads of state from major countries are few and far between, with the exception of Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, who continues his virtual world tour in search of supporters. , and the Chancellor of Germany, Olaf Scholz, who spoke on the closing day.

Russians were banned from the event and the ultra-discreet presence of Chinese representatives added to the ambient gloom. The discussions focused more on the war and the dangers of recession than on the announced theme, vague as one would like, but it was stated as follows: History at a Turning Point: Government Policies and Business Strategies (History at a turning point – Government policies and business strategies).

The news not only disturbed the agenda of the World Economic Forum, but perhaps it killed its raison d’être.

The event’s founder, Klaus Schwab, has been able to gather so many people in his village in the Alps over the years because he shared his creed: globalization has succeeded in promoting prosperity and lifting millions of people out of poverty.


PHOTO MARKUS SCHREIBER, PRESS ARCHIVES

Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum

In recent years, discourse in Davos has begun to flourish. It is about inequality and climate change, which can give new life to international cooperation. But two years of pandemic and an almost global war stopped this new momentum. There wasn’t much talk about the climate throughout the week. We just remember, for example, that China’s representatives made a commitment to plant 70 billion trees by 2030.

The worst case scenario

Despite its alleged goodness, globalization has failed to prevent war, and this has been ignored by the organizers of the World Economic Forum. Its forecasters now point out that nearly three-quarters of multinationals will change their supply chains in response to new geopolitical realities rather than the pursuit of efficiency.1. This is a blow for globalization.

In a thought-provoking white paper that attempts to define what the state of the global economy will be in 2027, four scenarios are considered, including the worst-case scenario: the world returns to autarky, maintaining only a few alliances. military and regional. strategies and without any possible collaboration to address the challenge of climate change2.

A sad hope, which will surely mean the end of Davos happening, but the organization still refuses to consider. “I know we will meet again,” said the Forum president, who concluded this sad edition of the event.

Learn more

  • 2000
    Number of participants in this year’s World Economic Forum. The previous edition, in 2020, brought 3,000 participants.

    Source: World Economic Forum

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