23 January 2013, 17:46

Davos: brainstorm amid global pessimism

Davos: brainstorm amid global pessimism
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The world’s political and business elite have gathered in the Alpine resort of Davos in Switzerland to discuss global economic affairs and search for ways to ease the impact of financial and economic crisis on global development.

“Sustainable progress”, the motto of the current WEF (World Economic Forum), implies the ability to adapt oneself to volatile conditions, withstand and promptly recover from sudden blows and keep moving towards important targets. The participants are invited to a kind of brainstorm on future economic strategies.

The informal character of the annual meetings at Davos has around a good deal of skepticism with some analysts viewing the WEF as a mere “talk shop”. Others take it seriously. Vladimir Kvint, head of the Center for Strategic Studies at the Moscow Lomonosov State University, shares his view.

"The point is that Davos is not an institutional forum. It’s more about synchronizing watches. True, the Davos forum has gradually developed into a serious organization publishing its own ratings. But in reality, all of its decisions are not even recommendations, but rather orientation guidelines – a compass used by governments to check their directions. This is a platform for informal talks between political leaders and the business elite. Businessmen account for about 70% of all guests at Davos. Taking part in this forum is both interesting and useful. Davos wields considerable influence on economic realities."

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev leads the Russian delegation at Davos. With Russia holding the G20 presidency this year, Moscow’s vision of global development priorities will weigh heavily on the international community, says deputy head of the Russian State Duma financial markets committee Anatoly Aksakov.

"Since we are presiding over the G20, the next summit will be held in Russia. So we need to grope, to feel international business trends to be able to map out the agenda of the G20 in St. Petersburg. We have something to propose on anti-crisis measures. We have been watching the so-called ‘currency wars’ fought in recent months with some country or other pushing its national currency down in order to support domestic production and other partner countries following suit. In this situation, it is necessary to agree upon a coordinated currency policy to avoid creating problems for the global economy."

In its report at Davos, the Russian delegation will outline key uncertainty factors in Russia’s long-term development strategy until 2030 with social tension tending to be among the main risks depending on external economic factors.

At Davos, Russia will hear lots of opinions and get plenty of advice as to what direction it should follow and where possible troubles may emerge. The government will willingly study all recommendations and respond to healthy criticism.

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