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The global economic elite meets in Davos more optimistic than ever

Ⓒ AFP – Fabrice Coffrini – | In the economic sphere, the forum opens in an atmosphere of great optimism about global growth, as confirmed on Monday by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The world’s economic and political leaders are meeting on Tuesday at the Davos forum in a climate of great optimism about the economic outlook, despite the huge inequalities denounced by activists and NGOs.

The Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, will be the first head of state to intervene in the exclusive Swiss station, where the snow fell intensely in the last hours and caused some delays.

In a message to Klaus Schwab, founder and president of the World Economic Forum (WEF), Pope Francis asked participants to work to build societies “capable of restoring dignity to those who live with great uncertainty and are unable to dream in a better world”.

A message addressed to the more than 2,500 delegates and 70 heads of state and government who will be at the Swiss station this year, including French President Emmanuel Macron; the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel; or the King of Spain, Felipe VI.

There will also be an important Latin American presence, with the presidents of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia or Panama, among others.

But the most anticipated is undoubtedly Donald Trump, who will go to Davos on Friday, after the Republicans and the US Democrats reached an interim agreement on Monday to end the budget closure.

Its unpredictability and its well-known criticisms of globalization and liberalism – the credo of most forum participants – augur a clash with its protectionist positions and its famous slogan “United States first”.

The week will be full of seminars of all kinds, which address not only economic issues, but social and technological, such as the consequences of the ‘fake news’ or the implications of artificial intelligence for the world of work, all under the slogan “Creating a shared future in a fractured world “.

Narendra Modi, who comes to Switzerland accompanied by two yogis, will open the forum on Tuesday, before the intervention of his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau.

– Optimism at record levels –

In the economic sphere, the forum opens in an atmosphere of great optimism about world growth, as confirmed by the forecasts of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday.

The Washington institution raised its growth forecast for 2018 from 3.7% to 3.9%, an optimism supported by the fiscal reform in the United States, while it also revised upwards the forecast of Brazil and Mexico, the largest economies Latin American

However, the Director General of the IMF, Christine Lagarde, acknowledged by presenting the figures that “there are still too many people left out of the recovery and the acceleration of growth.”

Confidence reigns, however, among entrepreneurs: a poll published Monday by the PwC auditor reveals that its optimism is at record levels.

The survey with 1,300 executives from around the world shows that 57% of them believe that growth will consolidate in the next 12 months, a record since 2012, when this index began to be published. The figure improves a lot compared to 29% last year.

“We have seen a broad recovery in the global economy and the discourse on an era of stagnation seems to have dissipated,” he explained in the same vein to AFP Nariman Behravesh, chief economist at IHS Markit, which foresees an improvement for at least next year. .

Davos is also and above all a good place to do business, as evidenced by the presence among others of the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon. In 2017, he will receive 29.5 million dollars a year, the salary he had before the financial crisis of 2008.

In front of them, Oxfam recalled on Monday that 82% of the planetary wealth created last year in the world ended up in the hands of the richest 1%, while poor women are those that benefited the least from economic growth. .

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