23 January 2013
The World Economic Forum’s (WEF’s) annual meeting opened in Davos, Switzerland on Tuesday evening under the theme “Resilient Dynamism”.
Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairperson of the WEF, said in his welcoming address that he was expecting an outcome from this year’s meeting.
“Going back being more dynamic, more optimistic, more resilient, having passion and understanding better what’s going on – that’s my wish for you,” he told delegates.
The 2013 Davos forum brings together some 2 500 participants from more than 100 countries and 1 400 organisations. Among them, there are more than 1 600 business leaders and more than 45 heads of state or government, including South African President Jacob Zuma.
Zuma will use the forum as a platform to call for the world’s top economies and business to invest in South Africa’s and Africa’s infrastructural projects for the long-term economic growth of the continent.
According to the Presidency, he will invite international business to invest in government’s multi-billion rand infrastructure programme, which is set to change the country’s social and economic landscape.
The African continent is currently a leading investment destination for good returns and sustainable socio-economic growth.
“As the leading economy in Africa, South Africa remains the strategic platform to accessing one of the world’s fastest growing regions,” the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday. “South Africa supports growth in Africa through regional integration and direct investment.”
In more than 250 sessions and workshops during the six-day meeting, participants will discuss questions including how the global economy can get back to robust growth, and how business models can adapt to generational and structural changes.
Schwab said “resilient dynamism” was the combined attribute that would be needed from leaders in 2013.
He said that if external shocks were now the norm in a hyper-connected and interdependent world, then leaders would need to be more resilient; while future growth in the new context of a prolonged global economic malaise required dynamism.
“Either attribute, resilience or dynamism, alone is insufficient, as leadership in 2013 will require both,” he said.