WEF annual meeting kicks off with 400 sessions in store

WEF annual meeting kicks off with 400 sessions in store

WEF annual meeting kicks off with 400 sessions in store

Written by Reuters

23 Jan, 2019 | 11:41 am

Reuters – The 49th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) kicked off in Davos, Switzerland, on Tuesday with a wide range of topics set to be discussed during its 400 scheduled sessions.

On the first day of the four-day forum, the global economy, climate change, technological innovation and data management were among the most popular areas covered.

In a seminar regarding the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, sustainable development and the outlook of international cooperation were the main focus of the attendees. The initiative aims to promote infrastructure development and connectivity of Asia, Europe, Africa and the adjacent seas, and a keyword on the initiative that was identified by those attending the seminar was, “mutual benefit.”

“It’s more than just an infrastructure project. It’s actually a project of economic cooperation between China and the other countries. At the end they were asking for keywords and it came strongly: mutual-benefit. Yes, they will, because infrastructure by definition is long-term. So China helps through that investment. Some countries which would sometimes not have the resources by themselves, or maybe they do not have the engineering power or the drive. So China really helps those countries,” said Claude Begle, a member of the Swiss Parliament.

Begle’s view was shared by Botswanan President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the forum, who told CCTV that connectivity and trade between African countries was largely hampered by the limited ability of necessary infrastructure. Masisi says that the Belt and Road has provided a precious opportunity and an effective platform for cooperation.

“Because we saw benefit in it — mutual benefit, for Botswana and for China. For one we have very strong diplomatic relations with China; for two we are developing countries together,” said Masisi.

Another trending word in Davos this year is shape, as in shaping new markets, new skills and a new future. In a seminar about shaping new skills, experts predicted that change will come to core skills in many fields in the next five years.

“There are different thoughts, different standpoints on how to develop new skills and how to train on new skills. For us in China, people are interested in some of the practices we do here. For example, in terms of promoting skills development, we have strengthened our technical education and vocational training. We have also managed to make progress on poverty alleviation through promoting these skill trainings,” said Zhang Yizhen, the Chinese Vice Minister of Human Resources and Social Security.

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