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News Release

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel Opens World Economic Forum Annual Meeting

Adrian Monck, Managing Director; Tel.: +41 (0)22 869 1212; E-mail: adrian.monck@weforum.org 

  • Germany’s Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel to give opening address at the 42nd World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters, from 25-29 January
  • Representation from 19 G20 countries, including heads of government from Mexico, South Africa and the United Kingdom
  • Record participation from over 2,600 leaders from government, academia, business and civil society
  • The theme of the Annual Meeting is The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models 

Geneva, Switzerland, 18 January 2012 – Angela Merkel, the Federal Chancellor of Germany, will deliver the opening address at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 with record participation.

The theme of this year’s Meeting, The Great Transformation: Shaping New Models, reflects the need for a profound overhaul in the face of a fraying global system and lingering economic malaise.

“Capitalism, in its current form, no longer fits the world around us. We have failed to learn the lessons from the financial crisis of 2009. A global transformation is urgently needed and it must start with reinstating a global sense of social responsibility,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum.

World leaders, including heads of government and ministerial representation from 19 G20 countries, are among the more than 2,600 participants who will convene 25-29 January for the Forum’s 42nd Annual Meeting. In total, close to 40 heads of state or government will participate, along with over 1,600 business leaders from the Forum’s 1,000 Member companies, as well as Social Entrepreneurs, Young Global Leaders and representatives from civil society, media, academia and the arts.

The four sub-themes of the Meeting, which reflect the interconnected nature of the changes required, are: Growth and Employment Models; Leadership and Innovation Models; Sustainability and Resource Models; and Social and Technological Models. There will also be a strong focus on risk mitigation and management, with one room dedicated to discussions pursuing the themes of the Global Risks 2012 report.

For the first time, the programme includes a series of on-the-record, one-on-one interviews with academic, media, business and civil society leaders. There will be 29 one-on-one sessions throughout the five-day Meeting, including conversations with Muhammad Yunus, Michelle Yeoh, H. W. Brands, Thomas Friedman, Mehmet C. Oz and many more.

The Forum will welcome close to 40 heads of state or government, including from Azerbaijan, Canada, Denmark, Ethiopia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Guinea, Haiti, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Qatar, Singapore, South Africa, South Sudan, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Tunisia, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

Additional public figures participating in this year’s Meeting include US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR Donald Tsang, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, World Bank President Robert B. Zoellick, Secretary-General of League of Arab States Nabil Elaraby and  Presidential Candidates for Egypt, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amr Moussa.

The Co-Chairs of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 are: Yasuchika Hasegawa, President and Chief Executive Officer, Takeda Pharmaceutical, Japan; Vikram Pandit, Chief Executive Officer, Citi, USA; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever, United Kingdom; Alejandro Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer, Cinepolis, Mexico; Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook, USA; Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer, Royal Dutch Shell, Netherlands.

Notes to Editors

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