WEF 2018 at Davos: Day 2 set to be a Europe show with Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron to give special addresses

On day two at the World Economic Forum (WEF), the show will dominated by Europe as two of the continent's tallest leaders will take centre stage.

The leaders of France and Germany, President Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel, are set to headline the roll-call of leaders on Wednesday, two days before President Donald Trump is due to give his own speech in the heavily snow-covered Swiss town of Davos.

Europe's economic revival is one of the main reasons why the global economy is powering ahead and both Macron — who will make his first appearance at the WEF since being elected president — and Merkel will trumpet how the region has turned the corner after years of crisis.

Further, Brazil's president Michel Temer will give an update on Latin America's biggest economy.

The schedule for day 2 of the summit is as follows:

2:55 pm IST: Special Address by Michel Temer, President of Brazil

Following recent growth in Latin America’s largest economy, the republic’s president will address participants. According to the country's officials, the President’s message will be short: "Brazil has returned", reported The Rio Times. Temer will not only address the political and economic scenario in Brazil, but will also speak with investors and present the Avançar Parcerias (Advance Partnerships) programme.

4 pm IST: Enabling eCommerce, Small Enterprises, Global Players

The Founder and Executive Chairman of Chinese conglomerate Alibaba, Jack Ma, and the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation Roberto Azevedo, will join a group debate on entrepreneurship.

6 pm IST: An Insight, An Idea with Emmerson Mnangagwa

A one-on-one interview with the newly appointed Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mnangagwa was sworn in as Zimbabwe's president in November 2017, after a political drama which toppled his predecessor Robert Mugabe in a military takeover.

File image of German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron. Reuters

File image of German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Emmanuel Macron. Reuters

6.50 pm IST: Special Address by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany

The German chancellor is expected to speak on the future of Europe. Merkel's appearance signals her return to the world stage after months of political limbo in which she has avoided the limelight and been dismissed by some in the German and international media as a spent force. According to German economic daily Handelsblatt, "Berlin has kept expectations in check for the Davos gathering. Ms. Merkel will be leaving the same day she arrives, which means no meeting with Mr. Trump is planned. Her appearance comes on a day where the focus is on Europe, rather than globalisation or free trade. Her speech is likely to reflect that, by focusing less on the world and more on Europe’s own challenges."

10 pm IST: Special Address by Emmanuel Macron, President of France

According to his team, the French president is in Davos to “propose his international vision for the world of tomorrow.” The event allows Macron to reaffirm his commitment to reforming the European Union after Britain’s decision to leave, and to defend liberal democratic values in the face of Trump’s "America First" policies. “My instinct tells me that Macron will go big,” said Robin Niblett, director of the Chatham House think tank in London. “He won’t just talk about Europe. He will try to take up the mantle of the free world under Europe’s wing.”

Day 1 proceedings

Sending out a strong message against protectionism and inward-focused economic policies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said such tendencies can be as dangerous as terrorism and climate change as he pitched for creating a "heaven of freedom" free from divisions. Modi, who became the first Indian prime minister to address the WEF annual summit in two decades, talked about grave concerns facing the world, including terrorism and climate change. In a nearly-hour long speech delivered in Hindi, the prime minister sought to hard sell India as an investment destination, saying those wanting wealth with wellness and peace with prosperity should come to the country.

Tuesday also saw Indian movie star Shah Rukh Khan being honoured by the WEF with the 24th Crystal Award along side Elton John and Cate Blanchett. The Annual Crystal Awards ceremony, which opens the World Economic Forum summit in the Swiss ski resort, celebrates the achievements of outstanding artists who have shown exemplary commitment to improving the state of the world.

Khan received the award for "his leadership in championing children's and women's rights in India," the WEF said. The past awardees from India include Amitabh Bachchan, Mallika Sarabhai, AR Rahman, Shabana Azmi, Ravi Shankar and Amjad Ali Khan.

With inputs from AP and Reuters


Updated Date: Jan 24, 2018 11:28 AM

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