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World Economic Forum 2023 

Context:

Recently, The World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting 2023, held in the Swiss town of Davos, ended – a conference that started in a world possibly fundamentally altered, but whose processes and outcomes remained pretty much business as usual.

  • The theme this year was ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’.

Relevance:

GS III: Indian Economy

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Some key takeaways from WEF Davos 2023.
  2. Projects Launched
  3. About World Economic Forum (WEF)

Some key takeaways from WEF Davos 2023.

Economic Outlook
  • Most business leaders were upbeat about the economy, with US and the European Union (EU) seemingly beyond the risk of a recession now.
  • China ending its zero Covid curbs and opening shop again added to the positive outlook.
  • Chinese Vice Premier predicts a “noticeable increase of import, more investment by companies, and consumption returning back to normal can be expected” in 2023.
  • Central banks of the major economies cautioned that concerns still remained, and said they would keep interest rates high to ensure inflation is under check.
China’s Opening Up
  • Many pointed out that China opening up could mean a rise in its energy consumption, thereby driving up energy prices.
  • As the richer nations focus inwards, protecting their own workers, energy sufficiency, supply lines, etc., concerns were raised that this policy direction would hit developing economies.
  • Raghuram Rajan, former Reserve Bank of India Governor, said, “This becomes a rich-country game, right? We can subsidise this, you can subsidise that – what about the poor countries, who have limited fiscal room? They get left out in the cold.”
On Ukraine
  • Ukraine kept up its demand for more military aid to fight its war against Russia, and more financial aid to rebuild after the war.
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called for reconstruction fund commitments to start coming in now and not after the war ends.
  • President of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said “The more we do now, the less we will have to do in reconstruction.”
Climate Action
  • The World Economic Forum launched the Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), a global initiative to fund and grow new and existing public, private and philanthropic partnerships (PPPPs) to help unlock the $3 trillion of financing needed each year to reach net zero, reverse nature loss and restore biodiversity by 2050.
  • Activists including Greta Thunberg organized a protest with slogans such as “There is no planet B” and “Fossil fuels have got to go”.
  • Pakistan brought up the issue of a loss and damage fund for the developing countries.
Green Energy Law
  • EU raised concerns over a US green energy law that benefits products, such as electric vehicles, made in America.
  • International Monetary Fund Managing Director, when asked for one thing she would change to accelerate the net zero transition, said she would lock the US, China, India and European Union in a room. “Let them out after they sign in blood a commitment to work together to save the planet,”” she said.

Projects Launched

  • More than 50 “high-impact initiatives” were launched at the event.
  • Maharashtra Institution for Transformation (MITRA) signed a partnership with the forum on urban transformation to give the state government “strategic and technical direction”
  • A thematic centre on healthcare and life sciences is to be set up in Telangana.
  • The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness and Innovations (CEPI) aims to develop new vaccines for future pandemics.

About World Economic Forum (WEF)

  • The World Economic Forum is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation.
  • It was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit foundation and is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. It is independent, impartial and not tied to any special interests.
  • The Forum strives in all its efforts to demonstrate entrepreneurship in the global public interest while upholding the highest standards of governance.
  • Major reports published by WEF:
    • Energy Transition Index.
    • Global Competitiveness Report.
    • Global IT Report (WEF along with INSEAD, and Cornell University)
    • Global Gender Gap Report.
    • Global Risk Report.
    • Global Travel and Tourism Report.

-Source: Indian Express


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