Davos Forum Ends with Pledges for Sustainable Development

The 50th-anniversary edition of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos has concluded, with discussions about environmental degradation and climate change in the focus of the annual gathering of the world’s business elite, Izvestia writes. 

Prior to and during the forum, held under the theme “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World”, supporters of teen eco-activist Greta Thunberg held demonstrations, preventing forum participants from getting around Davos and its surrounding areas. Her performances became one of the most anticipated in Davos as did the speech by U.S. President Donald Trump. 

Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Oreshkin was expected to head the Russian delegation to the event. However, a week before the event, he suddenly became an acting minister, and on the day of his first speech in Davos, he was just an “economist”, although he took the position of Presidential Aide some days earlier. There were no officials from other Russian departments at the forum.

However, Russia’s powerful business sector was present almost in full force. The forum was attended by Rusal and En+ CEO Oleg Deripaska, Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh, the head of Renova Viktor Vekselberg, the founder of VKontakte and Telegram Pavel Durov, Lukoil CEO Vagit Alekperov, and others. 

The main session of the Russia House was a discussion of inequality as a barrier to economic growth. In total, 3,000 people from 117 countries participated in the forum, including 53 heads of state and government.

Despite the intense agenda, Russian WEF participants on the sidelines talked about the 2020 forum being not as good as it was in 2019, the newspaper wrote, adding that one of the Russian representatives even said that the forum, in principle, is “getting worse every year”.

Alexander Ivlev, Managing Partner at EY Russia, does not agree with this opinion. He told Izvestia that Davos is a platform “where you can meet with customers, and discuss issues related to global trends and global business”.

“Russia’s agenda is well covered in the framework of the Russia House. I can’t say that this year has become worse than last year. I reached all the goals that I set for myself,” he said.

Another forum participant, the CEO of Integral Petroleum SA Murat Seitnepesov considers the Davos forum to be the most important platform for discussing pressing issues. “It is absolutely right that at a forum of such caliber as WEF, the environmental problem was raised. Sustainable development includes sustainable ecology. This may not be as important right now, but the forum always looks further. This is one of the development goals,” he said.