WEF Davos Meet Next Week; Arun Jaitley to Participate

Geneva: The annual congregation of rich and powerful people at the high profile WEF annual meeting at Davos next week will see over 2,500 corporate and political leaders including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as also 40 heads of states and governments from across the world.

German Chancellor Angel Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Switzerland President Simonetta Sommaruga would be participating in the 45th edition of the meet.

(Also read: India's Davos menu)

Besides Mr Jaitley, Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal, among others from India, would be in attendance. From India, the event is likely to be attended by over 100 business leaders.

ICICI Bank managing director Chanda Kochhar, Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, State Bank of India chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, Bajaj Group chairman Rahul Bajaj, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal, Deutsche Bank co-CEO Anshu Jain and MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga would be attending the WEF annual meet.

Meeting against the backdrop of the world economy facing multiple challenges, the 45th edition of the WEF meet would discuss 'The New Global Context'.

Over 40 heads of states and governments, as well as 2,500 other leaders from business and society would convene at the meet, scheduled from January 21 to 24, WEF said on Wednesday.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, South African President Jacob Zuma, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi and US Secretary of State John Kerry, would be also present.

Current affairs such as the escalating geopolitical conflicts, pandemics, diverging growth and the new energy context are on the agenda.

WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab expressed hope that the annual meet "serves as the starting point for a renaissance of global trust".

India's Jubilant Bhartia Group co-chairman and founder Hari S Bhartia is among the six co-chairs for this year's WEF meet.

Other co-chairs are World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima, UK-based Alliance Trust's CEO, Katherine Garrett-Cox, Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt and Brazilian lender Itau Unibanco's vice chairman and CEO, Roberto Egydio Setubal.

There would be wide ranging discussions on ten global challenges, including on environment and resource scarcity, employment skills and human capital, gender parity, long-term investing, infrastructure and development, food security and agriculture.

The meet would also deliberate upon international trade and investment, future of the internet, global crime and anti-corruption, social inclusion and future of financial systems.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Jordan's King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein, Iraq Prime Minister Haider Al Abadi and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko are expected to participate in the event.

There would be more than 280 sessions spread across diverse topics including crisis and co-operation, growth and stability, innovation and industry, society and security.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director General Roberto Azevedo, International Labour Organisation Director General Guy Ryder as well as governors of the central banks of Brazil, Canada, England, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico and Switzerland, would be in attendance.

Besides, Alibaba Group executive chairman Jack Ma Yun, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Yahoo President and CEO Marissa Mayer and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, are among the registered participants.

According to WEF, World Health Organisation Director General Margaret Chan, Guinea President Alpha Conde, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-chairs Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have registered for the event.

"WEF serves the international community as a platform for public-private co-operation... Such co-operation, to address the challenges we all face, is more vital than ever before. But it requires mutual trust," Mr Schwab said.

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