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Davos 2020: Geopolitical tensions hurting global growth, according to WEF president Borge Brende
January 20, 2020

Davos 2020: Geopolitical tensions hurting global growth, according to WEF president Borge Brende

What began as an idea to bring together political and business leaders to discuss global opportunities and challenges 50 years ago, still today it remained the meeting ground of the powerful, the rich and the influential.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) was setup with an endowment of 25,000 Swiss francs and Davos was chosen as the host for the Forum's first meeting. In 1987, the European forum was rechristened as the World Economic Forum in keeping with its aspiration to play a pivotal role in shaping the global narrative. Davos has been witness to many changes in the global political and economic order. It would be fair to say it has played a crucial role in pushing for free trade, multilateralism and conflict resolution.

Borge Brende, president of World Economic Forum told CNBC-TV18: "The world is unsettled and we see polarisation. We also see that big powers not always talk to each other, we also have seen trade wars but there are also some silver linings  last week, we saw that the two largest economies in the world, China and US, signed the first phase of the trade deal."

"We have also seen that world leaders met in Berlin and agreed on a weapon embargo in Libya. So, there is a mixed picture but we are in a much more integrated world than before and then our response is very fragmented."

On geopolitics he said: "We unfortunately see quite a synchronised situation when it comes to lower global growth and we now need a synchronised response to that. Geopolitical situation is affecting the global growth negatively through the trade wars. So, if we can have less protectionist measures being taken and some new initiatives on the trade side, I think that can contribute positively."

Speaking on India, he said: "India has taken many important steps. I think the tax reform, also that you have more integration between the different states is important. We are seeing that the growth is now slowing, it is also partly a result of slowing global growth. On long term I am very optimistic on India. "

"It is 1.3 billion people, very talented entrepreneurial people, it is still the largest democracy in the world but there are also big inequalities."