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Major global challenges: WEF summit to seek answers

The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2015 to be held from Wednesday to Saturday in Davos of Switzerland would serve as a platform looking for solutions to major challenges faced by the world, said the organisation on Wednesday.

Over 2,500 participants from more than 140 countries representing business, government, international organisations, academia, civil society and the media are expected to participate in this year's annual gathering, WEF sources said.

The upcoming meeting is to be framed around 10 major global challenges, namely: environment and resource scarcity, employment skills and human capital, gender parity, long-term investing, infrastructure and development, food security and agriculture, international trade and investment, the future of the internet, global crime and anti-corruption, social inclusion, and the future of financial systems.

Addressing a pre-event press conference, Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of WEF, said 2015 would be a 'critical' year, being "a year where we are at a crossroads."

"The world has changed substantially. We are in a post-crisis world. That is the reason why we have chosen the 'New Global Context' as this year's theme," said Schwab.

Schwab shared his expectations for the annual meeting, which included reaching an understanding of the new context and searching for solutions in such a framework, making contributions to confidence-building efforts for the conflict areas, and achieving progress in addressing major global challenges.

According to the WEF, over 40 Heads of State and governments are expected to be at the four-day meeting where participants can attend the 280 sessions and workshops and exchange opinions on a range of issues.

Chief Economist with WEF, Jennifer Blanke, explained about this year's theme.

"We have seen that there is a rise in terms of conflict, a lack of trust in many cases. We felt that it is very important this year to step back, (to think) what is different about this new global context, how can we actually restore trust in the global economic and political system, so we can really expect in future decades a more collaborative environment," said Blanke.

She highlighted that one of the important issues for this year's meeting is to bring in the topic of security for the first time.

"We realise that there is a huge interplay between the economic system and the geopolitical system. It is very important for experts in both areas to understand each other very well, so we can come up with better solutions," said Blanke.

Courtesy - Xinhua

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