- The world’s elite converge on Davos, Switzerland, next week for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.
- The Davos 2019 theme is “Globalization 4.0,” promoting more inclusive societies and better protections for vulnerable communities.
- It is perhaps an irony then that divisive domestic issues will prevent a number of major world leaders from attending this year.
The biggest names in politics in business descend upon the snowy Swiss town of Davos next week for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting.
A huge snow dump might be wreaking havoc locally, but the event will aim to project a message of calm togetherness under the theme of “Globalization 4.0.”
Put simply, the annual meeting will reflect on building more inclusive societies and introducing better protections for vulnerable communities.
But that message could already be at risk of being overshadowed. US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron have cancelled their trips to Switzerland as they deal with divisive domestic issues.
Trump is dealing with a government shutdown over his Mexico border wall plan, while Macron is addressing the so-called Yellow Vest protests.
But while Trump and Macron are staying at home, there are plenty of other world leaders and royals attending Davos. Scroll on to see who will be in Switzerland next week.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan.
Wang will lead the Chinese delegation to the World Economic Forum event, according to the South China Morning Post, meaning Xi Jinping will not be attending.
Britain’s future King will interview naturalist Sir David Attenborough about “inspiring generations of people to become champions for nature.”
Jair Bolsonaro, president of Brazil.
Bolsonaro was only elected in late October, meaning Davos will be his first major engagement on the international stage. “I will show our desire to trade with everyone, valuing economic freedom, bilateral agreements and fiscal balance. With these pillars, Brazil will go towards full employment and prosperity,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
Sebastian Kurz, the chancellor of Austria.
Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland.
Pedro Sanchez, prime minister of Spain.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Mark Rutte, prime minister of the Netherlands.
Iraq’s President Barham Salih.
Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani.
Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, president of Zimbabwe.
Ivan Duque, president of Colombia.
Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel.
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, and the UN secretary-general’s special advocate for inclusive finance.
US President Donald Trump is among those staying at home.
Trump was scheduled to attend this month, but pulled out last week because of the US government shutdown. He tweeted:
Because of the Democrats intransigence on Border Security and the great importance of Safety for our Nation, I am respectfully cancelling my very important trip to Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum. My warmest regards and apologies to the @WEF!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019
French President Emmanuel Macron also won’t be going.
Macron’s busy domestic agenda, dealing with the fallout from the so-called Yellow Vest protests, will keep him away from Switzerland.
British Prime Minister Theresa May: Another leader dealing with domestic chaos.
May won’t be going either. The British leader is pretty busy at the moment after her Brexit deal suffered a catastrophic defeat in Parliament, but then she survived a vote of no confidence. She has a lot of work to do before Britain is supposed to leave the EU on March 29.
Will Vladimir Putin be in town? We’re not yet sure.
The Kremlin has hinted that Putin may travel to Davos. According to state-owned RT, presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said “nothing is excluded” when asked if Putin will make an appearance at the World Economic Forum event.
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