The work of the World Economic Forum kicks off in the Swiss city of Davos, in the first attendance meeting after two years of virtual meetings due to the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, with Russia’s absence and China reducing its attendance.
Attendance for the first time, after two years of hiatus due to Covid-19, kicked off the work of the World Economic Forum (Davos) in Switzerland today, entitled “History is at a turning point … government policies and business strategies “, with the participation of a number of the world’s rich.
This year’s economic forum kicks off in the face of new challenges, especially the war in Ukraine, in addition to the global economic and energy crises, the climate crisis and other crises.
The forum, which focuses on the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, was absent from Russia. Observers point out that the use of this conference is aimed at besieging Moscow and attacking its regional and global role.
Vision 3 Council Chairman Khaled Janahi stated on the sidelines of the forum that “the absence of the Chinese and Russian delegations from the World Economic Forum has a major impact on the content of the forum’s meetings,” noting that the forum “was known for sharing opinions and other opinions, but this feature was absent in this session.” “.
The founder of the forum, Klaus Schwab, welcomed the participation of a “large Ukrainian delegation” in the forum, of which Russia was absent this year, taking into account that the Russian delegation is usually large.
Zelensky calls for “maximum” sanctions … and divisions are destroying Europe
With the administration of the Economic Forum providing the platform for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to deliver his speech at the opening, he once again harmed Russia, inciting it to attract more support, weapons and intervention.
In his speech at the forum, Zelensky urged at this stage to stop trading with Russian markets, emphasizing Ukraine’s readiness to help the world face the wave of hunger that threatens humanity. Earlier, European Council President Charles Michel stressed that “the sanctions imposed on Russia will also affect Europe,” and called for preparations to deal with crises.
Zelensky also called today for an oil embargo on Russia, sanctions against all its banks, and the abandonment of its IT sector, while urging all foreign companies to leave.
Europe is still dependent on Russian oil and gas, especially as other alternatives are still far-fetched and expensive, as Russian gas accounts for more than 40% of European gas imports.
At a time when gas depletion, due to Western sanctions or Russian countermeasures, could lead to an even greater increase in energy tariffs for millions of households in Europe, Moscow’s cut-off of international payment systems will complicate Europe’s payments for its gas imports. more than a third of them come from Russia.
“It is clear that Europe is exposing itself to more losses than the United States, because geographical proximity is accompanied by close economic and security ties,” said Guntram Wolf, director of the Bruegel Institute.
While the United States and Britain have moved to ban Russian oil and gas, the EU is divided over the introduction of similar measures, with EU countries such as Germany and Hungary relying heavily on Russian gas imports. In the midst of this division, the European Union has also failed to implement the sixth package of sanctions against Russia.
In turn, Ukrainian MP Anastasia Radina, who is taking part in the forum, stressed on Sunday that her country “needs weapons more than anything else … weapons such as NATO weapons, especially tanks, air defense systems and fighter jets.”
Global recession and food crisis at Davos forum table
The multiple threats to the world economy outweighed the concerns of business leaders who participated in “Davos”, as some referred to the “risk of a global recession.”
The price rises undermined consumer confidence and turbulent global financial markets, forcing central banks, including the US Federal Reserve, to raise interest rates.
At the same time, the repercussions on the oil and food markets and the halt to combating COVID-19 exacerbated and complicated the crises.
German Vice-Chancellor and Minister of Economy Robert Habeck said: “We have at least four joint crises. We have high inflation, we have an energy crisis, we have food poverty, we also have a climate crisis, and we can not have problems. solve if we only focus on one. ”
“But if any of the problems are not resolved, I’m really afraid we’ll face a global recession that will have a huge impact … on global stability,” Habek added during a panel discussion at the forum.
The International Monetary Fund last month lowered its global growth forecast for the second time this year, describing the war in Ukraine and inflation as a “clear and current danger” to many countries.
The Kremlin said today that the West had caused a global food crisis by imposing the toughest sanctions on Russia in modern history over its military operation in Ukraine, adding that “President Vladimir Putin agrees with the United Nations’ assessment. that the world is facing a food crisis that could cause famine. “
Already, wheat prices in European markets have risen to an unprecedented level, which has been affected by the crisis in Ukraine.
In a separate context, and at a time when the global economic system is facing a “potential crossing of disasters”, the International Monetary Fund has defended globalization and urged countries not to succumb to the temptations of protectionist regimes . No import restriction from other countries.
International Monetary Fund officials have highlighted the “benefits of globalization”, focusing on the change in the flow of capital, goods and services over the past three decades, driven by the spread of modern technology. “These forces of integration have raised living standards and productivity, tripled the size of the world economy and lifted 1.3 billion people out of extreme poverty.
Today, however, this progress is threatened by the war in Ukraine and the associated sanctions and restrictions, as trade restrictions on food, energy and other raw materials have been imposed in nearly 30 countries. However, it is necessary to “strengthen trade to increase adaptability.”