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Davos 2019: World leaders you WON'T be seeing at WEF and WHY – Trump and May included

Fears of a slowdown in economic growth linked to trade disputes, fractious international relations, and political uncertainty due to Brexit are set to dominate the January 22 to 25 Alpine meeting. As well as this, the environment will also take centerstage with concerns over climate change and man-made environmental disasters on the cards for discussion at this year’s event. But a host of crises will keep several world leaders away from one of the biggest economic events in the calendar. Prime Minister Theresa May will not be attending the event as she battles to find a consensus on Brexit.

The Conservative party leader this week saw her divorce deal shot down in Parliament after being rejected in a landslide fashion of 432 votes to 202.

Mrs May then survived a subsequent vote of confidence, triggered by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn in the face of the deal being rejected.

US President Donald Trump will also not be showing his face as he continues to grapple with the partial shutdown of his government with 800,000 federal employees ensnared in the drama and going without pay.

The US leader triggered the stand-off, the longest of its kind in recent history, after demanding $ 5.7 billion to fund a wall along the US-Mexico border, which Democrats oppose.

French President Emmanuel Macron will be staying at home as his country with the fallout from the so-called Yellow Vest protests dominating his current schedule.

The unrest was sparked in November by fuel tax reforms but it has developed into a broader movement against Mr Macron.

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The sometimes-violent protests have continued despite a series of humiliating climbdowns by Mr Macron in a desperate bid to regain control.

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It is currently uncertain if Russian leader Vladimir Putin will attend Davos after presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying “nothing is excluded” when asked if Putin will be heading to Switzerland.

But the WEF will not be short of political figures by any means, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz all on the guest list.

Also in attendance will be: Leo Varadkar, Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.

In terms of leaders outside of Europe, there will be: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Colombia Ivan Duque and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Prince William will also attend the event and is expected to interview Sir David Attenborough about “inspiring generations of people to become champions for nature”.

Yesterday the WEF Global Risk Report warned of looming economic headwinds, in part due to geopolitical tensions among major powers.

The international organisation has raised concerns the world is “sleepwalking into a crisis” with global risks from political and economic tensions to climate change intensifying.

Borge Brende, president of the WEF said: “With global trade and economic growth at risk in 2019, there is a more urgent need than ever to renew the architecture of international cooperation.”

He added: “What we need now is coordinated, concerted action to sustain growth and to tackle the grave threats facing our world today.”

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Daily Express :: Finance Feed
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