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What is the World Economic Forum?

The World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting is a four-day event that is expected to attract over 2,500 participants, including many leaders from the world of politics, business and civil society. The event is taking place between January 23rd and 26th.

The WEF is a Swiss non-profit, politically neutral organization that was founded by Klaus Schwab in 1971. Although it's headquartered in Geneva, the Forum has become synonymous with the snow-covered town Davos.

In simple terms, the Forum is "committed to improve the state of the world."

It aims to do this by bringing together what it calls public and private "stakeholders" — in the main, heads of state, business, academia and society — and providing them with a space to discuss shared interests and problems.

Every year the Forum adopts a theme that is a talking point — or a starting point — for discussion. In 2017, the theme was "Responsive and responsible leadership," the year before that was "Mastering the fourth industrial revolution."

In 2018, the theme for the meeting is ‘’Creating a shared future in a fractured world’’ with WEF identifying a number of fractures in global politics, economics and society that it says need attention:

As such, the meeting this year aims to find ways "to reaffirm international cooperation on crucial shared interests, such as international security, the environment and the global economy," WEF said. Overall, the Annual Meeting will feature over 340 top political leaders with 10 heads of state and government from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa and six from Latin America.

WEF said that 1,900 business leaders from all industries will be attending together with 230 media representatives and almost 40 cultural leaders. In addition, WEF notes there will be social entrepreneurs, technology pioneers and leaders of civil society, unions and faith-based institutions.

Davos will be covered by some 500 journalists reporting for domestic and foreign news outlets. Headline guests this year include President Donald Trump, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron.

In addition, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and new Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa are among the 340 top political leaders attending.

Other well-known participants include actors Cate Blanchett, Shah Rukh Khan and musician Will.i.am and singer Elton John.

The Forum holds multiple sessions, panels, speeches and seminars over the course of the meeting where participants can listen to debates by key policymakers and audiences on a variety of subjects.

The Forum states that the key pillars of the program of events are to allow participants to experience, discover, debate and collaborate. President Donald Trump's attendance at the event in 2018 was something of a surprise given that he has eschewed the elitism that an event like Davos is often accused of.

(Source CNBC)

This article was issued by Antoine Briffa, Investment Manager at Calamatta Cuschieri. For more information visit, www.cc.com.mt. The information, view and opinions provided in this article is being provided solely for educational and informational purposes and should not be construed as investment advice, advice concerning particular investments or investment decisions, or tax or legal advice.

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