By JAMEY KEATEN
GENEVA (AP) — U.S. President Donald Trump will deliver the closing address at the elite World Economic Forum conference in Davos next week, which focuses on “finding ways to reaffirm international cooperation on crucial shared interests,” forum organizers announced Tuesday.
The WEF says international security, the environment and the global economy will be the key topics at the annual meeting of business leaders, civil society advocates, academics, celebrities and others in the Swiss Alpine resort from Jan. 23-26.
Klaus Schwab, the founder of the WEF, whose motto is “committed to improving the state of the world,” said the world is facing an “inflection point.” He noted a theme of rising competition between countries — and divisions within them.
One big issue, Schwab added, “will certainly be the future of global cooperation related to trade, environment, fight against terrorism, tax systems, competitiveness — and in this context it’s absolutely essential to have President Trump with us.”
Ten heads of state or government from Africa, nine from the Middle East and North Africa, and six from Latin America will join Western leaders including French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and British Prime Minister Theresa May in Davos.
The WEF announced the formal schedule on Wednesday, noting that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver the opening address on Tuesday, while Trump is to make a “keynote” address before Friday’s closing.
At its core, the Davos conference is an economic gathering — and more than 1,900 private sector leaders will be on hand.
Just over one in five participants will be women, a record high percentage for the Davos gathering. Top celebrities including actress Cate Blanchett, actor Shah Rukh Khan, and singer Elton John will turn up for an awards ceremony on Monday before the formal conference start.