Here’s who’s going to Davos this year

By: Silvia Amaro
@SILVIA_AMARO

KEY POINTS

  • This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event in the Swiss Alps and its theme is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.”
  • The annual economic gathering will run from January 21 until January 24.

Business leaders and politicians from around the world are gearing up to attend another session of the World Economic Forum (WEF), in Davos, Switzerland next week.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event in the Swiss Alps and its theme is “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World.” The annual economic gathering will run from January 21 until January 24.

CNBC takes a look at some of the most prominent names attending this year’s event.

Sanna Marin, prime minister of Finland

GS - FINLAND Prime Minister
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin listens during a press conference with her Estonian counterpart as part of her visit to the Etonian capital Tallinn on January 10, 2020.RAIGO PAJULA

At 34, Sanna Marin is the world’s youngest serving prime minister as well as Finland’s third female leader. She heads a four-party coalition government, whose leaders are all women too.

At the time of her appointment, in December, she said she never thought about her age or gender. “I think of the reasons I got into politics, and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate,” she said.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission

GP: Ursula von der Leyen Press Conference
Thierry Monasse | picture alliance | Getty Images

The former German minister for defense became the head of the EU’s executive arm in December. The new president of the European Commission has many pressing subjects to deal with, including gathering support for her new climate change package. The European Green Deal, a proposal launched in December, aims to make all the EU countries climate neutral by 2050.

Christine Lagarde, ECB president

GS - christine Lagarde
International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing Director Christine Lagarde smiles during a press conference.
JOHN THYS | AFP | Getty Images

The newly-appointed head of the European Central Bank is a well-known figure at WEF. Lagarde, the first female president of the ECB, used to visit the event in her role as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

This time around her words in Davos will be even more closely monitored, as investors look for further clues about the central bank’s strategic review. Lagarde made headlines in late 2019 when stating she wanted the ECB to make climate change a priority.

Greta Thunberg, climate activist

GP: Climate Activist Greta Thunberg Joins Green Party Leader Lucas At An Event 190705 EU
Greta Thunberg speaks at an event with other climate activists on April 22, 2019 in London, England.
Chris J Ratcliffe | Getty Images News | Getty Images

The 17-year old Swedish climate activist is due to return to Davos this year. Time’s “Person of the Year” in 2019 has a clear message to lawmakers and business leaders: commit to divest from fossil fuels now.

“We demand that at this year’s forum, participants from all companies, banks, institutions and governments immediately halt all investments in fossil fuel exploration and extraction, immediately end all fossil fuel subsidies and immediately and completely divest from fossil fuels. We don’t want these things done by 2050, 2030 or even 2021, we want this done now — as in right now,” Greta wrote in The Guardian newspaper.

Ren Zhengfei, Huawei Technologies founder

CNBC: Huawei Ren Zhengfei 1
Ren Zhengfei, CEO of Huawei speaking with CNBC at Huawei headquaters in Shenzhen, China.
Justin Solomon | CNBC

Technology has always been a key point of discussion at Davos and this year won’t be any exception, with 5G technology being a crucial part of the debate.

Huawei has led the 5G race across the world, but at the same time it sparked some division between traditional allies, such as the United States and the European Union. U.S. authorities have raised concerns about Huawei’s connections to the Chinese government, which it denies, and took steps to bar the company from selling its technology in the U.S. market. Meanwhile, the European Union is still forming its collective answer to the issues, but the German government announced it does not want to outright block the Chinese firm.

Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF

GP: IMF-WORLD-ECONOMY-GROWTH-TRADE-DISPUTE
International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva delivers her curtain raiser speech previewing the key issues to be addressed in the Annual Meetings in Washington, DC, on October 8, 2019.
NICHOLAS KAMM | AFP | Getty Images

The Bulgarian national was appointed head of the International Monetary Fund in the fall of 2019. She will be presenting the IMF’s latest economic assessment in Davos, joined by Gita Gopinath, the institution’s chief economist.

Deepika Padukone, Bollywood star

GS - Deepika Padukone
Indian actress Deepika Padukone arrives for a trailer launch of her upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Chhapaak’ in Mumbai, India on 10 December 2019.
NurPhoto

She is an internationally-acclaimed actress and mental health ambassador. Padukone will be awarded with one of the WEF’s Crystal Awards.

She was recently pictured standing silently behind students protesting against the Indian government. The Bollywood star surprised many, given that members of the movie industry tend to avoid politics.

Deepika has been named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Steven Mnuchin, US Treasury Secretary

RT: WEF Davos 2018: Steven Mnuchin 180125
Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, gestures as he attends the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 25, 2018.
Denis Balibouse | Reuters

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin led the discussion in Davos in 2017, having said at a news conference that a weaker dollar was good for the United States. His comments represented a shift in U.S. policy and sparked a dollar sell-off.

George Soros, chairman of Soros Fund Management

George Soros Speaks About The Euro
Billionaire investor George Soros.
Sean Gallup | Getty Images

The billionaire investor George Soros is a familiar face in the Swiss Alps. In the last edition, Soros expressed his concerns over President Donald Trump’s foreign and economic policy.

“An effective policy towards China can’t be reduced to a slogan. It needs to be far more sophisticated, detailed and practical; and it must include an American economic response to the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

Donald Trump, US president

GP: Donald Trump rally Toledo Ohio US-POLITICS-TRUMP
US President Donald Trump speaks during a “Keep America Great” campaign rally at Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, on January 9, 2020. Saul Loeb | AFP | Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump is set to attend this year’s WEF. Trump cancelled his participation at the event in 2019, amid a row with the Democratic Party over security spending.

Related Content

How Africa can corner a tenth of the world battery metals market – if being brave favours Fortune!

“I can say, do we have a good business: yes. Are we in distress? No. We have a lot of work to do things are going to get worse before they get better.”

African artists donate their vocals to support COVID-19

While big business has used its deep pockets to contribute towards Covid-19 related aid, musicians are using their voices. Artists from across the continent have teamed up to create a song to help governments drive important messaging around Covid-19 and to encourage citizens to play their part in limiting the spread of the virus. Two of the artists on the song, South African rapper Riky Rick and Zimbabwean born Sha Sha join CNBC Africa for more....

Coronavirus – Sierra Leone: COVID-19 Updates (25 May 2020)

New cases: 14 Confirmed cases: 735 At Isolation Centres: 400 Recovered: 293 Deaths: 42 In quarantine: 1,899 Out of quarantine: 3,522 Gender Confirmed Female - 383 Male - 352 Places Confirmed cases by district Bo 31 Bonthe 14 Bombali 15 Falaba 4 Kailahun 17 Kambia 1 Karene

Coronavirus – Somalia: Update on COVID-19 in Somalia (25 May 2020)

Download logoNew cases confirmed today: 95 Somaliland: 72 Benadir: 17 South West: 4 Galmudug: 2 Male: 65 Female: 30 Recovery: 31 Death: 5 Total confirmed cases: 1,689 Total recoveries: 235 Total deaths: 66Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Ministry of Health & Human Services, Federal Republic of Somalia.

Subscribe to our newsletter

Sign up for free newsletters and get more CNBC AFRICA delivered to your inbox

More from CNBC Africa

What Happens To Unspent Gift Cards?

Americans love gift cards. The plastic cash substitute has been the most popular holiday item on shoppers’ lists for 13 years in a row, as of 2007. In 2019 alone, U.S. consumers spent close to $98 billion on gift cards from brands like Starbucks, A

Curro opens its online doors to educate learners during COVID-19

Many parents are anxious about sending their kids back to school next week with the risk of Covid-19 infections in the classrooms quite high. Similarly, the risk of compromising the academic year by keeping kids at home until a treatment or cure is found is equally as high. Private school group Curro has launched an online schooling platform to help parents keep their kids educated and safe. Andries Greyling, CEO of Curro joins CNBC Africa for more.

Covid-19: WFP, YouTube partner to tackle food insecurity in Africa

Covid-19 disruptions to global supply chains have raised the alarm around food insecurity in Africa, with millions of people at risk of plunging further into poverty. To help the continent feed itself throughout the crisis streaming platform YouTube has partnered with the World Food Programme and UNICEF to raise funding. That’s as Africa works on a sustainable plan for food production, which includes reducing its reliance on food imports. Alex Okosi, Managing Director for Emerging Markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at YouTube joins CNBC Africa for more.

Africa’s unified & coordinated response to COVID-19: A public-private sector partnership

On this CNBC Africa special broadcast on Africa Day we hear from three influential and strident voices of the continent about how they feel Africa can come up with a unified and coordinated response to the pandemic – on both the private and public sector....

Trending Now

Protecting Africa’s progress during the COVID-19 pandemic

As of the 24th of May, Africa had a total of 107,412 confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 42,626 recoveries and 3,246 deaths. CNBC Africa’s Kenneth Igbomor explores ways to protect Africa’s progress during the Covid-19 pandemic with Dr.Vera Songwe, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, Dr. John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centre for Disease Control & Prevention and Edwin Ikhuoria, Africa Executive Director of the One Campaign....

How Africa can corner a tenth of the world battery metals market – if being brave favours Fortune!

“I can say, do we have a good business: yes. Are we in distress? No. We have a lot of work to do things are going to get worse before they get better.”

African artists donate their vocals to support COVID-19

While big business has used its deep pockets to contribute towards Covid-19 related aid, musicians are using their voices. Artists from across the continent have teamed up to create a song to help governments drive important messaging around Covid-19 and to encourage citizens to play their part in limiting the spread of the virus. Two of the artists on the song, South African rapper Riky Rick and Zimbabwean born Sha Sha join CNBC Africa for more....

How Covid-19 is shaping Africa’s prospects

This time last year Africa was celebrating the milestone that free trade on the continent would soon be a reality. Prior to Covid-19, the free trade Africa deal was due to be implemented on the 1st of July. Africa Day this year is, however, less joyful as the continent grapples with the prospect of deep recession and in some parts, depression with the coronavirus health crisis fast muted into an economic and financial one. Joining CNBC Africa to discuss Africa’s prospects in 2020 is Alexander Forbes Chief Economist, Isaah Mhlanga and Head of Strategic Slients, Lesiba Mothata.
- Advertisement -