Xi, Modi expected for ‘virtual’ Davos in era of pandemic

World News

GENEVA (AP) — World Economic Forum organizers are expecting leaders including Chinese President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa for a virtual gathering next week — after the COVID-19 pandemic doused plans for the annual in-person event in Davos, Switzerland.

The forum expects to hold its annual meeting in person in May in Singapore.

Forum founder Klaus Schwab said the aim of the virtual “Davos Agenda” meeting starting Jan. 25 is to restore trust and engage all stakeholders in business, government, civil society and beyond to help build a “more peaceful and prosperous post-corona era.”

The event runs throughout the week with daily themes on subjects like economic systems, responsible growth, cooperation and the harnessing of technologies in the 4th Industrial Revolution – a common theme at Davos events.

Borge Brende, the forum president, said Xi and Modi will be joined also by Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae-in for the event, and such leaders will consider “the role that Asia will play in the recovery.”

Others expected include Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, French President Emmanuel Macron and President Ivan Duque of Colombia.

The annual event in Davos typically draws thousands of elites to the Alpine snows to discuss ways of building a better future.

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