Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck will travel to the World Economic Forum in Davos/Switzerland this afternoon. The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is being held as an in-person event for the first time since being hindered by the pandemic and will take place from 22-26 May 2022. The focus of this year's meeting will be the war in Ukraine, the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

In the run-up to his trip, Robert Habeck said: “The World Economic Forum in Davos is seen as a symbol of unbridled globalisation which has fuelled the exploitation of people and resources, prepared the ground for financial crises and exacerbated social inequality. For all the justified criticism, however, Davos also offers space for controversial and critical debates on these issues. At the beginning of 2020 for example, the focus was on the climate crisis – coupled with the realisation that global warming poses major risks for financial markets, the economy and security. Since then, the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine have shaken the world. World trade has come to a standstill, supply chains are breaking, and a hunger crisis is looming because Russia is blocking wheat deliveries from Ukraine. These shocks needs to give rise to a new way of thinking. It’s time to develop a clear plan on how to make globalisation better, fairer and more sustainable. We need to strengthen resilience and re-launch cooperation. This is a discussion that needs to be held, not least in Davos.”

Minister Habeck also went on to say the following: “It would be wrong to respond to the crises at hand by moving towards de-globalisation. This would mean withdrawal, isolation and nationalism – at a time when the strength of alliances is more sought-after than ever. Instead, we have to shape the political framework such that global cooperation based on clear and fair rules is at the heart of what we do. We should also make world trade operate along the same lines – basing it on fair agreements that recognise that sustainability is the essence of trade, not just an added bonus. As long as WTO reform is blocked, we should rely on bilateral trade agreements with clear standards. One goal is to reduce one-sided dependencies by increasing diversification and risk provisioning. Greater and better cooperation makes us more resilient and serves to protect us.”

To finish, Minister Habeck made the following remarks: “Globalisation needs rules, and in order to shape them, people with power need to talk to one another. This is the opportunity we have in Davos. However, given the high costs of hosting here, Davos is currently an exclusive venue, which fails to draw in the knowledge and input of various interest groups from civil society. It is important to rethink this. The World Economic Forum should not close itself off.”

The Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action will hold talks in Davos with his counterparts from Switzerland (Federal Councillors Guy Parmelin and Simonetta Sommaruga), the Czech Republic (Jozef Síkel), Ukraine (Yulia Svyrdenko) and Saudi Arabia (Faisal Alibrahim), among others, as well as with China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, Xie Zhenhua. He will also join with the Indian Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, and the Head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, to hold a panel discussion on sustainable paths out of the energy crisis.

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum brings together international leaders, entrepreneurs and leading economic experts to discuss current and pressing issues of global economic policy.