Davos forum: Is China still an emerging economy?
Top business leaders, politicians and social activists tackled this and a host of other issues as the World Economic Forum opened on Wednesday amid a burst of optimism that the world has seen the worst of the financial crisis and now faces a "new reality."
The 2,500 participants at this year's annual meeting in the picturesque Alpine town of Davos are focusing much of their concentrated expertise on China's growing clout, simmering anxieties about Europe's debt crisis and consideration of the possible aftershocks of the financial crisis that has wrought layoffs, cutbacks and austerity measures.
With China overtaking Japan as the world's No. 2 economy last year, and growth predicted to hold steady in the upper single digits this year, panelists questioned whether Beijing hasn't already arrived at the top table.
"We have to get out of the lexicon the words 'developing' or 'emerging,"' said Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising giant WPP Group.
China and India have both sent their biggest ever delegations to this year's forum, spearheaded by business leaders seeking to plant their flags on a world stage previously dominated by US and European companies.
"In 10 years the economies of the emerging world will be in excess to $20 trillion, which is equal to the U.S. economy," noted Azim Premji, chairman of India's Wipro.
Zhu Min, former deputy governor of the Bank of China and now a special adviser to IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, cautioned that the figures obscure huge expectations among the poorest in the developing world that cannot be met soon. The theme of this year's meeting is "Shared Norms for the New Reality," and part of that includes the new economic reality, too. Participants largely concurred that there is a new sense of optimism this year.
Speaking at a morning session about whether elements of a new economic reality were in place, economist Nouriel Roubini said the risk of double dip recession and dramatic inflation had lessened since a year ago.
While Europe tries to stabilize the euro and the US seeks to put a lid on runaway public spending, China has to promote domestic demand to keep its economy churning, said Roubini, known in financial circles as "Dr. Doom" for being one of a number of commentators who forecast the global crisis.
"The challenge China is facing is that the US cannot be the consumer of first and last resort."
"Every uncertainty in the world has to do with Chinese politics," said Arturo Bris, professor of finance at the IMD business school in Lausanne. "I'm not expecting any surprises from the Western leaders, but we may have surprises coming from China." He told The Associated Press that China-watchers would be analyzing comments by a host of Chinese business leaders for insights into that nation's economy and future plans. "Whether China decides to buy Spanish and Portuguese government debt. Whether China decides to lessen the pressure on the dollar. That's what I'm going to be looking out for," he said. The five-day meeting features a keynote address Wednesday evening by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who postponed his planned arrival by a day after a suicide bombing killed 35 people in the country's busiest airport amid lax security.
The topic of Medvedev's speech hasn't been shared, but given the intense security surrounding the meeting, and the fact that terrorism remains an issue of both political and commercial concern, his audience is expected to listen keenly to what Medvedev has to say.
Another major theme will be how to avoid the mistakes of past years.
"A lot of effort has gone in over the last couple of years to really understand what went wrong," Dennis Nally, chairman of PwC International Ltd. told the AP on Tuesday night after he unveiled a strongly positive global survey of CEOs that showed 48 percent of them were "very confident" about growth in the coming year. Nally added that while confidence is improving "there is a degree of realism that there are some real issues out there that could derail the recovery."
It was a morning of celebration for a Chicago suburb when suddenly dozens of bullets were fired, followed by a pandemonium and chaos in the streets amid screams. Shocking visuals and videos have emerged on social media. One of the clips, which is particularly disturbing, captures the moment when the attacker opened fire from a rooftop. Another video caught the confusion among onlookers. One man is accompanied by a toddler.
The US law enforcement agencies on Tuesday announced they had captured a suspect named Robert Crimo in a shooting on Monday that killed six people and wounded more than 36 at a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park. Those wounded ranged between the ages of 8 to 85. Who is Robert Crimo - person of interest in Highland Park shooting 1.
Robert E Crimo III, a person of interest linked to a shooting in the United States that killed six people and wounded more than 36, has been held. This is the latest incident of gun violence rearing its ugly head in the country. Here are top updates on the latest shooting incident in the US: 1. In his first reaction, hours after the shooting, US president Joe Biden said he was shocked.
A county in China's eastern Anhui province is carrying out daily nucleic acid tests on 763,000 locked down residents while mass tests have been ordered for other areas, as authorities scramble to contain a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in the country. For China, it will have to be a pragmatic balance between its avowed zero-Covid strategy - marked by lockdowns, large-scale testing campaigns and strict isolation protocols - and allowing normal economic activity.
President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered Russian troops to press their offensive deeper into the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine after Moscow's forces seized the strategic city of Lysychansk. In a sign there would be no let-up in the fighting and that Russia now had its eyes on the entire Donetsk region, Putin told Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu that troops stationed there must continue their operations.