What is Davos 2018? Who is attending the World Economic Forum?

THE world’s most powerful leaders will meet today at Davos 2018 for an annual four-day elite conference known as the World Economic Forum.

But what is Davos 2018 and who is attending the World Economic Forum?

A global political get-together for around 2,500 movers and shakers from the worlds of business, politics, finance and media, the World Economic Forum is held annually each year in the town of Davos.

The mountain resort sits high up in the eastern Alps of Switzerland in Graubunden, the largest and and most eastern member state of the country.

It is home to one of the Switzerland’s biggest ski resorts and is also the highest “town” in Europe at 1,560m.

Davos 2018 will run from January 23 to 26 under the theme of “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World” and will be the the 48th forum to date.

The event was founded by German business professor Klaus Schwab in 1971 and was attended by 444 executives in its first year.

WEF’s mission statement says it is “committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.

Speeches, seminars and discussions are all part of the official itinerary but the glitzy gathering has come under fire in the past for being nothing more than a talking shop for oligarchs, bankers and other members of the global elite.

Who is attending the World Economic Forum?

The world’s most powerful politicians and business leaders are among the 2018 attendees.

Confirmed on the line-up are British Prime Minister Theresa May, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.

A total of 340 political leaders are expected to attend while heads of state and government from Africa, the Middle East, North Africa and Latin America will be present.

US President Donald Trump is supposed to deliver a keynote address towards the event’s close although this remains in doubt after the US government shutdown stretched into a third day.

Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, will deliver the opening address.

Many of the world’s representatives from international organisations will be in attendance.

These include Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Zeid Ra’ad Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Jim Yong Kim, President of World Bank.

Also present from the words of business and finance will be Ginni Roomette of, IBM Corporation, Fabiola Gianotti of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva, Sir Martin Sorrell of WPP and Christine Largarde of the International Monetary Fund.

Heads of charities, academics and nongovernmental organisations also come along as do a small number of celebrities.