Forum Amid Crisis - Will Davos Reassure Hopes? | Eurasia Diary -

19 August, Monday

Forum Amid Crisis - Will Davos Reassure Hopes?

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The World Economic Forum, which is being held in Davos, Switzerland today, plays an important role in the world amid conflicts and problems.

Eurasia Diary asked from Professor of Istanbul University Ph.D. Selin Senocak and Polish political analyst, expert of Centre for International Relations, Warsaw, Ph.D. Bruno Surdel for evaluation of the future results of the forum.

"The Davos Forum is successful diplomacy and economy-based initiative of Klaus Schwab in 1971. With the emergence of a new form of existing conjuncture, Davos lost its old prestige and attraction. This year we see a concrete example of this," said Selin Senocak, explaining the importance of the Davos Forum.

Bruno Surdel clarified the essence of the Forum: "World Economic Forum in Davos has been always a grand opportunity for executives, bankers, political and opinion leaders to debate world’s affaires and clinch their deals behind the scenes. On the other hand, it’s a kind of  theatre performance of aspiring or established leaders, often for domestic consumption."

Regarding the non-participation of some of the world's leading leaders in the event, Selin Shenocak considers it a negative for the Forum and notes that the absence of the leaders of key actors to the economic crisis will create a gap in the general debate.

Dr. Surdel evaluates the annual WEF summitry is a reflection of what sets the global and local economic and political agenda. He explains the absence of key actors: "India’s Narendra Modi, China’s Xi Jinping, as well as Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Emmanuel Macron, Theresa May and Donald Trump – all of them decided to cancel their Davos trip this year. The situation is quite clear: domestic troubles of Brexit, the partial government shutdown in the USA, ‘Gilets Jaunes’ in France, China-US ‘trade war’ with the ensuing economic slowdown as well as upcoming, crucial elections in India."

"Other „heavyweights”, however, chose to attend: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The „Brazilian Trump” Jair Bolsonaro – is also ready to spread his message of a new, ‘different Brazil, free from ideological ties and widespread corruption’ – as he himself said on social media ahead of the summit. On the other hand, the Chinese team is led by the powerful vice-President and „firefighter” – Wang Qishan who, however, won’t have a chance to negotiate with any American delegation as it was canceled by the White House. Instead, the WEF will provide an opportunity for improving China – Canada ties being at a low point as a result of the Huawei Technologies controversy and arrests of Canadian citizens in China. Mr. Wang will also try to shore up investors’ confidence in his country’s economic performance as the Beijing – Washington ‘trade wars’ started biting and China’s growth dips to a 28-year low,"Dr. Surdel analyses the situation can happen in Forum.

"Climate change issues, mental health are to be high on agenda but no breakthrough can be expected, and this is not only due to the absence of several major powers. Definitely, German Chancellor Merkel and Brazil’s new president Bolsonaro are not on the same page when it comes to the climate change issue," Bruno Surdel explains the agenda of the Forum.

"So more important events are going to take place in Aachen and Moscow this week. French President Macron and Chancellor Merkel are set to strengthen the „Franco-German axis” with a new friendship treaty which will be, however, received with suspicion in Italy and some eastern European countries, including Poland. Meanwhile, in Moscow, presidents of Russia and Turkey will try to fix Syria amid the postponed US withdrawal and  problems with Idlib and Kurdish YPG-held territories. Again in Moscow, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is going to hold difficult talks with Vladimir Putin on a peace treaty – with the returning Kuril islands issue," Dr. Surdel noted.

As a result, the potential of the World Economic Forum is estimated very low. Experts do not positively analyze multilateral issues, even though they have positive predictions for the development of bilateral relations.


Author: Ulvi Ahmedli

Samira Shamurova and Nejat Ismayilov contributed to the article

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