Despite the unusually extreme snow fall that buried Davos for days leading up to the 2018 World Economic Forum (WEF), thousands of dignitaries still descended on the remote Swiss ski resort to opine on the future of the world and set the global discussion agenda.
U.S. President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel were among the powerful gathering of elite leaders who attended the event, where conversation focused on “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World”.
For the sixth year in a row, we welcomed guests to the town library, which had been neatly converted into a bustling news HQ and television studio for the week.
The hottest off-piste venue for prominent luminaries
Unaffected by the cold weather, the Global Markets Forum (GMF) became the hottest off-piste venue for some of the more prominent luminaries to convene and share their reactions and opinions as proceedings unfolded.
We were delighted to be joined by 13 guests, all of whom participated in our ‘LiveChat’ interviews, and included:
- Ya-Qin Zhang, President, Baidu
- Min Zhu, Former Deputy Governor, People’s Bank of China and Deputy Managing Director at the International Monetary Fund
- Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim
- Professor Liao Jianwen, Chief Strategic Officer, JD.com
- Paul Sheard, Vice Chairman, S&P Global
- Michelle Rempel, Member of Parliament, Canada
- Zhu Ning, Economics Professor and Associate Dean, Tsinghua University
- Ming Maa, President, Grab
- Sir Suma Chakrabarti, President, EBRD
Conversation in the forum flowed around the rapid development of artificial intelligence in China, e-commerce, trade and globalization, among many other fringe topics, giving GMF members and guests the unique opportunity to network, voice their own thoughts and exchange ideas that stemmed from the main WEF agenda.
Among the notable comments, Dr. Min Zhu, a former Vice-Governor of China’s Central Bank and current Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, told the GMF that China has little room for raising benchmark interest rates, as inflation remains subdued and authorities try to reduce the economy’s debt burden.
Professor Liao Jianwen, who is the Chief Strategic Officer at JD.com, said that Chinese consumers are going through several changes, and want high-quality products at “competitive prices”. And Ming Maa, President of ride-sharing company Grab, said: “Opportunities in South-East Asia are massive and much larger than just ride-sharing.”
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