World Economic Forum kicks off in Davos

Annual World Economic Forum meetings start in Davos with theme of ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

WEF Executive Chairman and founder Klaus Schwab addresses his welcome message to members during the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland January 19, 2016

The opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) was held in the Swiss city of Davos on Tuesday.

The theme of this year's forum is "Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution." Other topics on the agenda include sustainable development of the world economy, global warming and the environment, as well as the refugee crisis and anti-terror issues.

"I hope you go home and you are, as myself and all my colleagues, convinced that the future of our small global village can only be well managed if there is as much dialogue, collaboration and cooperation," said Klaus Schwab, the WEF founder and executive chairman.

The Crystal Award which honours artists who make contributions to cross-cultural understanding was presented to four people at the WEF opening ceremony, including Chinese actress Yao Chen who received the accolade for her leadership in raising awareness of the refugee crisis.

"Over the past five years of visits, I heard one after another sad story, in which there was fear, desperation and pain that I could not imagine. However in the eyes of the storytellers, I saw courage, perseverance and hope again and again. I always think that the power the refugees have given me in these years is actually bigger than what I brought to them," said Yao Chen, who is also a Goodwill Ambassador for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The forum brings together more than 2,500 participants from over 100 countries and regions, including more than 40 heads of state and senior government officials. Some 1,500 business leaders will also attend the meeting which runs from Wednesday to Saturday.

TRTWorld, Reuters