From 22nd January 2019, the flagship event of World Economic Forum, The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting-2019 was held in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The theme of the event was “Globalization 4.0: Shaping a Global Architecture in the Age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution”. The event concluded on 25th January 2019.
i. The annual meeting brings together the heads and members of more than 100 governments, top executives of the 1,000 best global companies, leaders of international organizations and relevant non-governmental organizations.
ii. The working principles of the 2019 meeting are as follows:
- Dialogue is critical and must be multi stakeholder based
- Globalization must be responsible and responsive to regional and national concerns
- International coordination must be improved in the absence of multilateral cooperation
- Addressing the biggest global challenges requires the collaborative efforts of business, government and civil society
- Global growth must be inclusive and sustainable
iii. The meeting witnessed a series of “Global Dialogues” in the fields including: geopolitics and a multiconceptual world, future of the economy, industry systems, cyber security, human capital and institutional reform.
About World Economic Forum (WEF):
♦ Headquarters: Cologny, Switzerland
♦ Chairman: Klaus Schwab
IMF forecasts India GDP at 7.5% in FY20 and 7.7% in FY21
On 21st January 2019, Gita Gopinath the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its World Economic Outlook Update in Davos, Switzerland. The report stated that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) is poised to grow by 7.5% in the 2019-20 fiscal and 7.7% in 2020-2021.
- The report reaffirmed that India will continue to be the world’s fastest growing major economy.
- The report stated that India’s economic growth will benefit from lower oil prices which will ease the inflation pressures and result in slower pace of monetary tightening than previously expected.
- The global growth according to the report is projected at 3.5 per cent in 2019, a downgrade of 0.2 per cent from the October report, and 3.6 per cent in 2020, a reduction of 0.1 per cent due to weakness in Europe and some emerging markets.
- China’s growth is expected to slip from 6.6 per cent last year to 6.2 per cent this year.
About International Monetary Fund (IMF):
♦ Headquarters: Washington, D.C., United States
♦ CEO: Christine Lagarde
Oxfam Annual Wealth Check report 2019
On 21st January 2019, the british charity group, Oxfam released its Annual Wealth Check report 2019 at the gathering of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The report stated that Twenty six richest billionaires own as many assets as the 3.8 billion people who make up for the poorest half of the planets population.
- The report also claimed that 2,200 billionaires worldwide saw their wealth grow by 12 percent, whereas the poorest half saw its wealth fall by 11 percent.
- A new billionaire was created every two days between 2017 and 2018 and the number of billionaires has doubled since the 2008 financial crisis.
- Oxfam proposed a 1% wealth tax which it believes would raise an estimated US$418 billion a year which is enough to educate every child not in school and provide healthcare that would prevent three million deaths.
- In some countries, such as Brazil, the poorest 10 percent of society are now paying a higher proportion of their incomes in tax than the richest 10 percent.
- Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and the world’s richest man, saw his fortune increase to $112 billion.
Key Points related to India:
- In India the billionaires saw their wealth increase by Rs. 2,200 crore a day last year, with the top 1 per cent of the country’s richest getting richer by 39 per cent while the bottom-half of the population saw just 3 per cent increase in wealth.
- The poorest 10 per cent of the country or about 13.6 crore Indians continued to remain in debt since 2004.
- India’s top 10 per cent of the population holds 77.4 per cent of the total national wealth and the top 1 per cent holds 51.53 per cent of the national wealth.
- India added 18 new billionaires last year, raising the total number of billionaires to 119, while their wealth crossed the $394 billion (Rs. 28 lakh crore) mark for the first time.
- Furthermore the report stated that the combined revenue and capital expenditure of the centre and states for medical, public health, sanitation and water supply is Rs. 2,08,166 crore, which is less than the country’ richest man Mukesh Ambani’s wealth of Rs. 2.8 lakh crore.
- For India Oxfam proposed that if India’s richest 1 per cent pay just 0.5 per cent extra tax on their wealth then it could raise enough money to increase the government spending on health by 50 per cent.
India 4th most attractive investment market for global CEOs: PwC survey
On 21st January 2019, Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC) released a survey report on the first day of the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting and stated that India has become fourth most attractive investment destination by surpassing the United Kingdom.
- The report stated that the United States remained top investment destination with 27 per cent votes China stood second with 24 per cent votes and Germany remained third at 13 per cent votes.
- The survey was conducted among more than 1,300 CEOs and in 91 countries.
- India’s popularity fell marginally from 9 per cent to 8 per cent.
- The survey reported that 85% of CEOs believe Artificial Intelligence would dramatically change their business over next five years.
- Among the global CEOs, 30% believe that global economic growth would decline in next 12 months.
About Price waterhouse Coopers (PwC):
♦ Chairman: Bob Moritz
♦ Headquarters: London, United Kingdom
About United Kingdom:
♦ Prime minister: Theresa May
♦ Capital: London
♦ Currency: Pound Sterling
TCS named fastest growing brand of the decade in IT services
On 23rd January 2019, the leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions organization, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) was accredited as the fastest growing brand in the IT Services sector over the past decade by Brand Finance, the world’s leading brand valuation firm.
- The report by Brand Finance was released at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
- TCS which continues to be among the top 3 global IT Services brands saw its brand value increase by 23 percent over the previous year. Its brand rating was upgraded from AA+ to AAA-.
- The brand value of TCS increased by 447 per cent, from USD 2.34 Billion in 2010 to USD 12.8 Billion in 2019.
- Besides Rajesh Gopinathan, TCS’ Chief Executive Officer was named as one of the top 100 global CEOs in a new Brand Guardianship Index by Brand Finance.
Women comprise just 22% of World Economic Forum participants
The women in this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting-2019 comprised only 22 percent of the attendees. Last year the women attendees included 21 percent of the total participants.
WEF lists 33 ways Davos 2019 made an impact on the world
On 25th January 2019, the organizers of World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2019 listed 33 ways in which this year’s Annual meeting made impact on the world.
- Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe launched an agenda for global data governance.
- A group of 70 plus countries discussed to commence WTO negotiations on trade related aspects of e-commerce.
- Members of the Forum’s Business and civil society trade community also made discussions for a new ambitious and inclusive digital trade deal.