World Leaders Prepare For Davos Amid Gloomy Forecasts


The Forum's Global Risks Report 2019 said that worldwide cooperation looks set to worsen further over the coming year, with experts identifying rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions as the most urgent risks in 2019.

The report, which is based on the views of around 1,000 experts and decision-makers from around the world, found that 88 percent of respondents expect a "further erosion" of global trading rules and agreements that will hold back growth.

Børge Brende, president of the World Economic Forum, has argued that it's more important than ever to patch up and improve the architecture of global cooperation.

"If economic headwinds pose a threat to global cooperation, efforts will be further disrupted in 2019 by rising geopolitical tensions among major powers", the Geneva organisation wrote in a press release.

Russian economy minister to lead country's delegation to Davos The Russian delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland will be led by Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin, Russia's Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak said on Wednesday.

Raising the prospect of a "climate catastrophe", the report said extreme weather, which many experts attribute to rapid climate change, was a risk of great concern.

"2018 was sadly a year of historic wildfires, continued heavy flooding and increasing greenhouse gas emissions", said Alison Martin, Group Chief Risk Officer at Zurich Insurance Group, who collaborated with the WEF on the Global Risks Report.

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Cyber risked jumped in prominence in the survey's 10-year outlook following a number of data breaches and frauds.

In its annual Global Risks Report released on Wednesday, the WEF said environmental risks dominated the list given the number of storms, fires and floods that occurred globally previous year.

The report also discussed risks posed by rapid-fire technological advances in artificial intelligence and quantum cryptography, along with the growing problem of digital isolation among stressed-out individuals. Shortfalls of investment in critical infrastructure such as transport can lead to system-wide breakdowns as well as exacerbate associated social, environmental and health-related risks.

In the Global Risks Report, risks are ranked in terms of likelihood, impact, interconnections and trends.

The top risks for 2019 by likelihood (in order) are: extreme weather events (floods, storms etc.); failure of climate change mitigation and adaption; major natural disasters (earthquake, tsunami etc.); massive incident of data fraud/theft; and large-scale cyberattacks. "Allocating resources to infrastructure investment, in part through new incentives for public-private partnerships, is vital for building and strengthening the physical foundations and digital networks that will enable societies to grow and thrive". A common theme is that psychological stress relates to a feeling of lack of control in the face of uncertainty.

Extreme weather events are considered the number one global risk in 2019, according to the World Economic Forum.