World Economic Forum for 2024 in Davos kicks off

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This year’s edition of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual meeting starts Monday, with many business leaders, heads of state and others expected to engage with each other.

Davos, as the five-day gathering is often called due to the Swiss city where it occurs, will run a slew of sessions for attendees under an overarching “Rebuilding Trust” theme.

The non-governmental organization seeks to “provide the crucial space to step back and focus on the fundamental principles driving trust, including transparency, consistency and accountability” through it, according to its website. It has also selected a handful of sub-themes focused on global cooperation, economic and job growth, artificial intelligence and the environment.

WEF Managing Director Jeremy Jurgens said last week the event would see “exceptional” participation from the business sector, reporting around 1,600 executives were coming to Davos. 

The WEF’s online program for the annual meeting showed that executives from some major U.S. companies in various industries are slated to speak in sessions. Some of them include Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet CIO Ruth Porat, billionaire investor Ray Dalio, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and Salesforce CEO Marc Benoif, according to the program.

Davos is drawing more than 300 political figures, too, the WEF said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will go to the WEF annual meeting, as will National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, some federal lawmakers and other officials, according to the non-governmental organization.

While there, the State Department said Blinken “will emphasize the need to achieve lasting peace and security in the Middle East, the United States’ enduring commitment to the people of Ukraine, and our commitment to transatlantic security and the rules-based international order.”

WEF sign

The event will see quite a few countries’ presidents take part, including France’s Emmanuel Macron, Israel’s Isaac Herzog and Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the WEF said last week. Chinese Premier Li Qiang and European President Ursula von der Leyen, plus a host of others, are also expected to attend.

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Last year, the WEF’s gathering took place Jan. 16-20, marking a return to its typical January schedule after holding it in May in 2022, as previously reported by FOX Business. It used “Cooperation in a Fragmented World” as its theme.

Davos 2024 represents the 54th annual meeting put on by the WEF, with the first having happened back in the 1970s.

Eric Revell contributed to this report.

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