GENEVA: Record participation from the Middle East and North Africa at the upcoming World Economic Forum annual meeting at Davos reflects the importance of the region in energy transition, WEF President Borge Brende told a virtual press briefing on Tuesday.
“We have six heads of states and governments, and very strong delegations,” he said, adding that the “Middle East is also important when it comes to investments, with sovereign wealth funds that are investing all over the world.”
The WEF annual meeting from Jan. 16-20 in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, will take place as multiple crises deepen and fragment the geopolitical landscape.
In a statement on Tuesday, the WEF urged world leaders to address people’s immediate, critical needs, while also creating the foundation for a more sustainable, resilient world by 2030.
“We see the manifold political, economic and social forces creating increased fragmentation on a global and national level. To address the root causes of this erosion of trust, we need to reinforce cooperation between the government and business sectors, creating the conditions for a strong and durable recovery. At the same time there must be the recognition that economic development needs to be made more resilient, more sustainable and nobody should be left behind,” said Klaus Schwab, WEF founder and executive chairman.
In the statement, the WEF announced the full agenda of its 53rd annual meeting, highlighting that it aims to explore solutions to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges through encouraging world leaders to cooperate on the interconnected issues of energy, climate and nature; investment, trade and infrastructure; frontier technologies and industry resilience; jobs, skills, social mobility and health; and geopolitical cooperation in a multipolar world.
Special emphasis will be placed on gender and geographical diversity across all sessions.
Over 2,700 leaders will take part in this year’s meeting, with a strong representation from all key regions of the world.
In addition, the Davos meeting will feature the highest-ever business participation, with more than 1,500 leaders registered across 700 organizations, including over 600 of the world’s top CEOs from the WEF Partners.
More than 125 experts and heads of the world’s leading universities, research institutions, and think tanks will also join the meeting.
The WEF also said that the meeting will be climate-neutral for the sixth consecutive year.