Gloomy outlook, few world leaders for Davos 2019

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 21, 2019 - Duration: 01:54s

Gloomy outlook, few world leaders for Davos 2019

An array of crises will keep several world leaders away from the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, which takes place against a backdrop of deepening gloom over the global economic and political outlook.

Mia Womersley reports.


Gloomy outlook, few world leaders for Davos 2019

The World Economic Forum in Davos hasn't even started yet, and it's all about who ISN'T here.

The scene is set at the snow-blanketed Swiss ski resort for the annual gathering of government, business and civil society leaders.

But an array of crises is keeping the big names away.

Trump and his shutdown.

May and her Brexit.

Macron and his yellow vests.

And the WEF's own stark warning of global headwinds isn't helping either.

Reuters' Silvia Aloisi is covering this year's meeting.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS CORRESPONDENT, SILVIA ALOISI, SAYING: "Last year Davos was all about optimism.

Everyone was like really hunky dory about the outlook for the year.

This year, it's the exact opposite.

There's sort of a sense of gloom and doom, people are worried about an economic slowdown which some people think could even tip the world economy into recession.

There's trade tensions particularly between the U.S. and china, there is the end of easy monetary policy that is not going to help at a time when the economy across the globe is slowing down.

Stock marketS aren't going well.

So there are many many worries and not very many people around here to reassure investors and business leaders that things will not get out of control." Only three leaders of the Group of 7 will turn up.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte.

Russian and Indian heads of state are also shunning the mountain get-together.

And China - whose president, Xi Jinping, was the first Chinese leader to attend the elite gathering in 2017 - is sending his deputy instead.

Davos will, though, be the first major outing for Brazil's new far-right president - Jair Bolsonaro.

But despite the lack of headline acts, the main draw for many delegates is the networking and deal-making that happens in the corridors and at the parties.

So valuable that attendees pay up to 50 thousand dollars just to be here.

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