Davos 2011 - Highlights - Friday 28 January

 


Aung San Suu KyiAung San Suu Kyi addresses Davos

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, General Secretary of the National League for Democracy, has addressed participants of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011. 
In a taped audio speech from her country, she called on world leaders gathered in Davos “to use their particular opportunities and skills as far as possible to promote national reconciliation, genuine democratization, human development and economic growth in Burma, that our people may in turn be able make their own contribution towards a safer, happier world,” she said.
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German Chancellor Angela MerkelMerkel warns against complacency over risk of another crisis

Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel warned participants at the World Economic Forum against complacency about the risks of a further financial crisis, saying that all the international mechanisms needed to prevent another crash are not yet in place.

“Can we safely say that we can prevent further crises from happening? Do we have the necessary mechanisms in place to ensure sustainable growth globally? We have laid down the groundwork, but we are not there yet,” Merkel added.
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Post-Earthquake HaitiGetting Haiti Back on Its Feet

The best way to help Haiti in its post-disaster recovery is to build back better. An IdeasLab session on Haiti at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 focused on five key points: Meeting the essential need for pathogen-free water; supporting small and medium enterprises and providing micro-insurance to protect the poorest Haitians, particularly women; providing sustainable construction and skills training to ensure improved building standards and quality in future; employing mobile banking as a tool for financial inclusion; and jumpstarting the Haitian economy through social business. The Forum also launched its new report, Private Sector Development in Haiti: Opportunities for Investment, Job Creation and Growth.
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PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra NooyiDon't think only about short-term profits

Businesspeople should be sent back to school so that they can be re-educated not to think only short-term about just making profits, PepsiCo Chairman and CEO  Indra Nooyi said in a plenary session. Management success has been defined so narrowly to mean maximizing profits for shareholders without consideration of long-term goals such as sustainability. The corporate mindset still regards adopting sustainability as a matter of resolving conflicts or trade-offs.
Declared Nooyi: "We believe that short-term profits and long-term sustainability are not mutually exclusive."
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Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand Post-Crisis Reality Requires New Social Contract

Governments and businesses should start revising their social contracts with their stakeholders in the light of the new realities of the post-crisis world, participants at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos heard.  “The new contract has to move beyond the rulers and the ruled,” said Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva of Thailand. “We’re all partners now.”

The state should not intervene in the private sector, he declared, but should focus instead on creating the conditions that would allow companies to create employment and make profits for their shareholders.
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Bill and Melinda Gates with British Prime Minister David CameronGates Foundation and UK Government pledge more funding to eradicate polio

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has added US$ 100 million to the campaign to wipe out polio with a further US $ 60 million pledged by British Prime Minister David Cameron who committed to double his country's current contribution to polio eradication.

“This funding will see an extra 45 million children fully vaccinated against the disease,” he said, urging other world leaders to finish the job, adding that the new funding is conditional on matching commitments and making vaccines routine in affected countries.
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US Treasury Secretary Timothy GeithnerCollaborate for a new deal

The world's largest economies need to collaborate in order to face the challenges of the new reality, said US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, speaking at a plenary session. The effort is needed to transform the post-war economic deal. With a view to the pivotal relationship between the US and China, Secretary Geithner described the interests on both sides as closely tied in many ways.

"They are not fundamentally in conflict, they are largely complementary. We want to make sure they are comfortable that we are going to be able to build a system that’s going to accommodate their interests too, not just ours," Secretary Geithner said, dismissing doubts about the US long-term economy. "The great strength of the American political system is that it has always risen to the challenge," Secretary Geithner added.
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David Cameron

Europe Needs a Change of Direction

Many problems Europe faces follow decisions governments have taken, alone or together, UK Prime Minister David Cameron told World Economic Forum Annual Meeting participants. On the future of Europe, he said: “We are an open, trading continent. We have a proud record of invention. We’ve got advanced democratic values. But yes, we’ve got to recognize that Europe has to earn its way. The world doesn’t owe us a living. So let's make the choice to do things differently, to fight for our prosperity.”

Cameron outlined his vision of a new direction for the continent: a risk-taking investment culture, a Europe-wide patent scheme, tougher stress tests, killing off sovereign debt and removing crushing regulation are a formula for growth.

“Now is the time to go for a genuine Single Market,” he said, pointing to commitments from leaders across Europe to open and free market reform.
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President Felipe Calderón of Mexico

Sustainability for growth

Diminishing natural resources and rising temperatures demand business and governments work aggressively in new ways to join the dots between water, energy and food, concluded a panel at the Annual Meeting. “Developing new sources of renewable energy is an amazing business opportunity and key to achieving sustainable economic growth,”  said Mexican President Felipe Calderón as he addressed the panel. Its other members included United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Bill Gates of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
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