WEF: World economy is not out of the woods yet



AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE

Published — Thursday 24 January 2013

Last update 24 January 2013 3:34 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

DAVOS: Global markets have calmed significantly in the past year, but the world economy is not out of the woods yet, a panel of top officials and bankers said yesterday as the World Economic Forum opened.
At the first formal session of the five-day gathering of the world's top business and political leaders, deputy head of the International Monetary Fund Min Zhu drew a contrast between today's mood and that of last year's meeting.
"At this particular moment, things are much better than 12 months ago. A year ago here, we were really concerned about the euro crisis, the US fiscal cliff," said Zhu.
"With all the policy actions, much has calmed down now but we've got to be very careful. The tail-risk has been moved off the table but there are issues still there," he added.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JP Morgan Chase, said the United States was "in pretty good shape" and added that the euro zone had "stabilized" but warned financial crises would continue until better market regulation was in place.
"If we do everything right, we will get out of this. If we don't, this could last another 10 years," said Dimon, one of the world's top bankers.
This year's World Economic Forum in Davos takes place against a backdrop of less volatility on the financial markets, but a former head of the German central bank, Axel Weber, warned against "kicking the problems down the road."
"I think we are heading into a very dangerous environment," said Weber, now the head of Swiss banking giant UBS.
He said action by the world's central banks to shore up confidence in the markets was nothing but a "short-term fix" and complained that "we are living now at the expense of future generations."
Weber resigned as head of the Bundesbank in protest at the European Central Bank's plan to buy the bonds of struggling euro zone countries and quipped: "My views haven't changed since then."
And Tidjane Thiam, chief executive of Prudential, Britain's biggest insurer, said there was little prospect of preventing a future crisis.
"There are people working out how to prevent having a crisis again. They are wasting their time because there will be a crisis again," said the insurance boss.
The first world leader to address the forum, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, was also in bullish mood, telling the assembled elite that his country grew 3.5 percent last year and aimed for five percent growth annually.
Britain's David Cameron will speak on Thursday, fresh from committing Britain to a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 if his party wins another term, which drew dismay from one of Britain's top business executives.
"It's at best neutral and at worst negative. So it can't be positive," said Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising giant WPP.
"You just added another reason why people are going to postpone investment decisions and the last thing we need is people postponing more."
Other top speakers are European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, who spoke on "challenges for the years to come", and the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde.
Every year events conspire to hijack the agenda and this year is no different, with the conflict in Mali and the crisis in Syria poised to exercise the minds of the global elite.
Jordan's King Abdallah was due to make a special address and the premiers of Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and the Palestinian Territories were scheduled to attend the forum.
There is also a heavy African presence, with the leaders of South Africa and Nigeria attending a session on "de-risking" the continent yesterday.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Ministry of Education (MoE) has allocated over 180 clinics for schools in Riyadh and directed all its departments across the Kingdom to recruit health advisers at schools with more than 100 students.Work has already started on introducing...
RIYADH: The Moroccan experience in desert tourism is largely similar to that of Saudi Arabia, which boasts of a unique diversity in culture in its different regions, Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National...
JAZAN: Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visited the advanced field hospital of the Armed Forces in Jazan on Tuesday.He was reassured about the injured in the ongoing battle. He conveyed the greetings of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King S...
JEDDAH: The planned “North Thunder” military exercise is a clear message to Iran and the countries in the region it supports that any hostile intentions and actions will be firmly dealt with, an expert has said.The military drill is scheduled to be h...
RIYADH: Syrian conjoined twins will be separated at the King Abdullah Specialist Children’s Hospital at the King Abdul Aziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh on Sunday.According to a KAMC spokesman, the forthcoming surgery will be the fourth and final st...
JEDDAH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has issued an order to establish a department for school security. It will be be linked organizationally to the general supervisor of school safety and security at the ministry.According to the decision, schoo...
JEDDAH: From delivering mails for Saudi Aramco to captaining Saudi Arabian Airlines’ first flight to New York, Jazza Al-Shammari’s career story is unique.“I started my career as a postman with Saudi Aramco in 1959 and continued the primary studies at...
RIYADH: A team of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSHRC) has identified a gene responsible for cardiomyopathy.Dr. Zuhair bin Nasser Al-Hasnan, KFSHRC medical genetics consultant, said the team conducted a study on a Saudi...
JEDDAH: The Pakistan Welfare Society (PWS) organized a free medical camp and discussion on health for women at the Pakistani Consulate recently.Doctors and specialists diagnosed patients and distributed free medicines to needy patients, and arranged...
JEDDAH: Yemen Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah has thanked Saudi Arabia for standing by his country during tough times.Speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday, he said: “Our GCC brothers, particularly Saudi Arabia, s...
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia joined the rest of the world in intensifying public awareness on cancer with activities spread over the week supporting the global cause that aims to save millions of lives every year by raising awareness and education about the...
RIYADH: Chairman of ACWA Power International Mohammed Abu Nayyan thanked King Mohammed VI of Morocco for personally inaugurating Morocco’s first solar power plant, Noor1, built by an international consortium led by his company.“We were extremely priv...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Health is considering imposing an asset declaration as well as an absence of interest conflict testimony on its employees as a measure in fighting corruption.Health Minister Khalid Al-Falih made the announcement at a one-day f...
DAMMAM: Abdussalam Kanniyan, chairman of the International Indian School in Dammam (IISD), has been honored with the “Person of the Year 2015” award by Vatakara NRI Forum, a community group in the Eastern Province.The award was based on his outstandi...
RIYADH: Andrej Plenkovic, the leader of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee delegation, on Tuesday hailed Saudi Arabia for its yeoman services in looking after the displaced Syrians in countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.“We fu...

Stay Connected

Facebook