The Davos Forum's five highlights and clashes

30/01/2020

One of the keywords in the Davos forum is "pluralism of opinion". It also means conflicting views. The Mexicanist offers an insight into the forum's highlights.

Davos, Switzerland: The international meeting will take place from January 20 to 24; it seeks to strengthen the opportunities for attracting investments.
Davos, Switzerland: The international meeting will take place from January 20 to 24; it seeks to strengthen the opportunities for attracting investments.

For 50 years, the world's political and financial elites have been meeting at the Swiss ski resort in Davos. Some joke that this is where billionaires tell millionaires how the middle class should live. Despite criticism of excessive elitism, Davos is one of the most influential forums in the world.

1.

One of the highlights of the Davos forum was the conflict between two people, who never met in the conversation. US President Donald Trump, who mocked climate activists as last-day preachers, and new Swedish environmental activist Greta Tunberg, who called for an immediate halt to fossil fuel funding.

Prince Charles and the protesters were clearly on the side of Greta. And this conflict made the theme of climate and sustainability even more prominent.

2.

Second in the clash of views is financier George Soros, who in Davos criticized Facebook's efforts to secure Trump's re-election in exchange for defense. Facebook has already said that this is not true.

Soros announced he would spend $ 1 billion to expand the Central European University and create a network of colleges to teach critical thinking. By doing so, he hopes to help resist authoritarianism in the US, Russia, and China.

3.

Third, clashes of views about technology and the future of artificial intelligence. The founder of Chinese tech giant Huawei said it was not as dangerous as nuclear bombs. But Yuval Harari, author of the popular book "Sapiens" from Israel, warned that the opposite would be true: artificial intelligence would be able to take over or "hack" people.

4.

One of Davos' key themes, the rise of anti-capitalist sentiment in the world and what members of the forum could do, came to a collision. Some called for capitalism and the system to be reformed so that the main determinants were not just financial investors but wider groups. The current pursuit of profit is beginning to threaten the very existence of the system as public sentiment becomes more critical.

5.

The Davos Forum announced a plan to plant one trillion trees. To involve the people of Davos, it is promised to plant one tree for every blue hat they take. Hats ran out quickly, but not all environmental scientists are convinced that the afforestation of the planet is the safest way to fight climate change.

These concerns have also affected the overall mood. Regular Davos forum visitors have admitted to journalists that the optimism that prevailed here two years ago has not been felt this time.

Mexico leaves the top 10 most attractive markets for investment

Mexico lost its attractiveness to global investors, and in 2020 left the top 10 most sought after markets where it was still last year, revealed Monday the survey number 23 that raised the PwC business consulting among CEOs of global industries.

After ranking in 2019 as the ninth most attractive global market to invest, Mexico went off the radar, leaving the spot it had to Brazil.

According to the results of the survey that annually discloses the business consulting to world leaders attending the Davos Forum, the most attractive markets to see their capital grow are the United States (first place on the list); China (2nd); Germany (3rd); India (4th); United Kingdom (5th); Australia (6th); Japan (7th); France (8th); Brazil (9th) and Canada (10th).

The 23rd survey published by the consultancy is entitled "Navigating the growing wave of uncertainty", and highlights that in Latin America, the CEOs consulted consider that the greatest risks for the region are populism, political and geopolitical uncertainty.

PwC ranks the region's business leaders among the least optimistic about the impact of globalization on reducing income gaps for the fourth consecutive year.

The survey, which usually measures the mood of world business leaders at the Davos Forum, shows that this year the proportion of CEOs who expect a better climate for their businesses has declined.

Thus, 53% of global CEOs believe that world economic growth will slow down in the next 12 months. And they note that this is the "greatest pessimism observed since the 2008 survey, when 29% of CEOs believed that economic growth would continue to slow.

To ponder how the mood of the business leaders consulted changed, just remember that a year ago, only 5% of CEOs believed that the economy's growth could deteriorate.

The survey was conducted among 1,580 CEOs from 83 countries in each of the world's five regions.

LATIN AMERICA IN DAVOS

An important part of the focus of the meeting will be to revisit the concept of "Stakeholder Capitalism" put forward in 1971 by Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, which proposes a model in which beyond purely financial interests and profit maximization, companies should acquire responsibilities towards their stakeholders, seeking also social and environmental benefits.

More executives and investors now understand that their long-term success also depends on the success of their employees, their suppliers, their customers and the community at large. Many must join in this commitment.

As a complement, the "Davos 2020 Manifesto" will be presented, based on its original 1973 version, a pioneering document that proposes that companies should serve society and not just their shareholders or owners.

This Manifesto has been updated to respond to current challenges and among other specific aspects, it promotes corporate fiscal responsibility, zero tolerance for corruption, social and environmental responsibility, and respect for human rights.

In addition, it will promote the measurement of ecological, social and governance impacts, and will activate 160 initiatives that will contribute to a necessary systemic transformation at the global level, also promoting the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the acceleration of the achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These initiatives include the planting of one trillion trees and the training of one billion people over the next decade to prepare them for the labour activities demanded by the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Eight Latin American governments will be present in Davos: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Panama, as well as important regional organizations, businessmen, academics, influential media leaders, young people and members of civil society from almost all the countries of the region.