At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017, ministers of G20 countries called on members to continue on the path of inclusive growth, warning against protectionism. “If you want to get more inclusive growth, you need more free trade,” said Wolfgang Schäuble, Federal Minister of Finance of Germany, which holds the G20 presidency. Schäuble added that the G20 should be redoubling efforts to promote inclusive growth as part of free trade.
After years of relentless focus on costs, settlements and regulations, the future of banking is looking brighter, agreed panellists in a session at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. On the regulatory front, the majority predicted a significant paring-back of regulatory regimes such as Dodd-Frank, the Volcker rule and Basel IV.
With the United States looking set to step back from the international arena, China will likely take on an larger role to preserve the global economic system of which it has been a major beneficiary.
In a special address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said that Britain would stand up for free markets, free trade and globalization, and would work to ensure that they work for everyone.
Business leaders at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting agreed that there is an urgent need to restore the compact between business and society, ensuring that companies are responsive and responsible to all their stakeholders. There is a crisis of confidence in leadership, said Jim Hagemann Snabe, Member of the Board of Trustees, World Economic Forum. “We have an opportunity to reinvent how we do business, to refocus our efforts towards ensuring long-term sustainability,” he added.
With its vast workforce, strong growth and expanding purchasing power, South Asia will be the key to reviving global demand, Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry of India, said at a session on Harnessing Regional Cooperation in South Asia at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. “The world cannot afford to ignore the region that will be key to reviving demand,” the minister said.
The energy gap in Africa looms large if the continent is to permanently escape the poverty trap. More than 600 million people in Africa lack access to clean, affordable, reliable energy. It is time for empower people by delivering power to the people.
Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a robust defence of globalization to business, government and civil society leaders in the opening plenary session of the 47th World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. China, Xi said, is committed to fulfilling its international responsibilities and contributing to addressing pressing global challenges, including climate change, the need for new drivers of economic growth and creating jobs in the face of the emerging technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Gigantic corporations lead in business today: fewer than 10% of public companies worldwide account for 80% of all corporate profits. But the giants of world business are challenged to manage their enormous scale, create new products and contribute to society, agreed leaders of global manufacturers, technology companies and banks in a session on the opening day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.
In the closing session of the World Economic Forum’s inaugural Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils, business and civil society leaders called for the embedding of values in the design of technologies and investment in education to prepare citizens for the future by ensuring they have the skills to succeed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.