US President Donald Trump is set to attend the World Economic Forum's (WEF) annual meeting in Davos next week after skipping the conference last year because of the government shutdown, WEF organisers said on Tuesday, January 14th, according to AFP.
Trump’s attendance at the Davos summit is his first since 2018. The White House said in a press release that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin will lead the delegation, which will include presidential advisers and Trump family members Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, as well as several members of the President's Cabinet.
In addition, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer will also be among the nine-person presidential delegation to the WEF conference.
The 50th edition will also focus on the fallout of climate change and a more inclusive model of capitalism, drawing a total of 53 heads of government and state, for four days starting on January 21st in the village of Davos in the Swiss Alps.
Thefounder and executive chairman ofWEF, professor Klaus Schwab, said in the release that the executives, bankers and lawmakers in attendance “must develop a ‘Davos Manifesto 2020’ to reimagine the purpose and scorecards for companies and government.”
Nearly 3,000 leaders from 118 countries are expected for the January 21st-24th event, including teenage eco-warrior Greta Thunberg, who will renew her call on participants to stop subsidising fossil fuels.
Around 53 heads of state are due to make the trip into the Alps, including Germany's Angela Merkel, as well as 35 finance ministers and some 30 trade ministers, according to WEF organisers.
Trump’s return to Davos forum comes amid a looming Senate impeachment trial and concerns over his handling of relations with Iran.
The House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday, January 15th, to send the two articles of impeachment against President Trump to the Senate which could lead to a trial beginning next Tuesday, which lawmakers are expecting.
WEF President Borge Brende cited at a news conference that Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who had been due to attend Davos according to a preliminary guest list, is no longer expect to attend as it was notably blacklisted by the Trump administration even before the new tensions.
Other figures heading to Davos include European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. A host of central bankers are going, including Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde and Bank for International Settlements chief Agustin Carstens.
Furthermore, the meeting will also include UK’s Prince Charles, the president of Iraq, Barham Salih, Hong Kong’s beleaguered Chief Executive Carrie Lam, as well as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, and Vice Premier of China Han Zheng.
This year’s event is being held under the banner "Stakeholders for a Sustainable and Cohesive World" and it will place an emphasis on a more inclusive model of capitalism.
"The world is in a state of emergency and the window to act is closing fast," Schwab stated, calling for participants to agree a "Davos Manifesto" for a new type of stakeholder capitalism.
Schwab emphasised the importance of sustainable economic growth, hoping that a “Green Revolution” will go mainstream and said the WEF would encourage partner businesses to become carbon neutral.
It is noteworthy to mention that Trump was not the only world leader who did not attend WEF last year.Then-British Prime Minister Theresa May cancelled her visit after suffering a harsh defeat on Brexit, and French President Emmanuel Macron, struggling to stop the yellow vests’ street protests, also skipped the forum.