Davos celebrates globalization, but it has gone out of fashion

Davos celebrates globalization, but it has gone out of fashion

Klaus Schwab (84), founder of the World Economic Forum.Image by Markus Schreiber/AP

Zane Minton-Bidos, editor-in-chief of the British magazine, said Davos’ star “may be fading”. economistsThis week in a podcast. The World Economic Forum in Davos is the annual high-globalization bloc.

Government and industry leaders, bankers and opinion makers from around the world travel to the Swiss ski resort every January to speak, lobby and network. US Presidents Obama and Trump, Russian President Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered speeches at the World Economic Forum.

The French newspaper wrote that this year was “the end of globalization on everyone’s mind in Davos.” Le Monde. One of the main topics was the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a huge support package of about $370 billion through which US President Biden wants to boost clean technology production, provided that companies produce on US soil. Also in Davos, the IRA was seen by many as a sign of a new era in which countries move from relying on globalization and free trade to protecting their industries, as geopolitical tensions mount and global supply lines prove fragile.

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Europe fears that European companies will shift their investments to America, where subsidies are generous and energy is much cheaper. This is why Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, unveiled a plan to stimulate European clean industry through new European Investment Funds on Tuesday in Davos. Member states, including the Netherlands, have reacted skeptically, but the question is whether Europe will be able to avoid a race for global support.

Nigerian economist Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organization, and Indian economist Raghuram Rajan have warned that if the United States, the European Union, and China start subsidizing their industries generously, the rest of the world will pay off badly. This will be a game for rich countries. We can support this, you can support that – but what about poor countries with limited budget space? “They’ve been left out in the cold,” said Rajan, the former governor of India’s central bank.

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Last week saw the 53rd World Economic Forum. Left-wing American journalist Hamilton Nolan wrote that rallies like Davos can only be understood as a show Watchman. They form the stage in which it is Masters of the universe They play out the dramatic narrative of their lives. They are exercises in mutual self-affirmation: we are here and we matter. The Associated Press reported that some top executives paid $1 million to attend. Known for his criticism of the Kremlin, American businessman Bill Browder criticized the fact that the price of his ticket had tripled to $250,000. For example, 84-year-old CEO Klaus Schwab has turned the World Economic Forum into a thriving company.

Left-wing critics deplore the hypocrisy of an elitist event where pious words are spoken about climate and inequality without changing anything. Far-right conspiracy theorists see the WEF as a secret world government. But now that globalization is losing momentum, the World Economic Forum has lost its luster. Davos is no longer the place where you meet ‘everyone’. The Russians have stopped coming since the war in Ukraine. Xi Jinping was also absent: he sent his deputy Liu He, who quickly left. Nor did Biden appear. The US delegation was led by climate envoy John Kerry and Labor Secretary Marty Walsh.

Of course there were still thousands of VIPs roaming the streets of the Swiss city, but the ‘Davos man’, the cosmopolitan representative of the international capital, seemed to have had his day.

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