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Davos does feel different this year. CEOs as a group, if I can generalize after less than one full day, are crowding into open sessions to hear the experts opine on the world economy and the financial crisis (large meeting halls are filled early and many would-be attendees are left out in the cold). In prior years they seem to have spent more time networking with each other in the corridors. The press has emphasized that the Davos stars this year will come from the political not the corporate or entertainment worlds. So it seems.
I attended a breakfast session in which the results of a recent global poll of people's trust was reported (Edelman Trust Barometer). In the 20 countries polled, trust in business, government and the media is "half-empty," i.e. way down. In the U.S. and China 61% and 69% of those polled agreed that more government control over business would help restore "trust." But overall trust in government scored even lower than trust in business. (NGOs are more trusted but not considered responsible for solving the world's problems.)
Hmmm. Business and the people are looking to government. Maybe this means the dawning of the recognition that on collective action problems -- climate change, regulation of the global financial services industry -- it is governments, for all their failings, that need to take the lead -- and businesses that need at a minimum to go along if not actively cooperate.
CGD blog posts reflect theviews of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.
Unilever is the world’s single largest end-user of palm oil, purchasing nearly 3 percent of global palm oil production. Whilst we can not do everything alone , with this scale comes responsibility—to make sure that our supply chains are not driving tropical deforestation, and to tackle endemic social issues such as forced labour and the protection of indigenous people.
The world’s elite—plus a few ringers like me—gathered last week in the small Swiss village of Davos to discuss the state of the world at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF). Although not formally on the agenda, the issue of tropical forests infiltrated a number of discussions. But first, a quick recap of the meeting’s big themes that provided the broader context.
This week the World Economic Forum holds its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. As the great and good gather to chart the direction of the global economy, there will be much talk of development, of transparency, and of the importance of trade. In light of our new research showing that Switzerland’s recent emergence as a global commodity trading hub might hide large illicit capital flows, participants may want to raise some questions with their hosts.