Davos forum founder urges unity against ‘dangerous’ risks

Author: Associated Press

DAVOS, Switzerland (AP) – World leaders must do a better job of coordinating their actions if they want to effectively combat the menace of terrorism and the grave risks from conflicts and volatility around the globe, the founder of the World Economic Forum said Monday.

Speaking on the eve of an annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Switzerland’s Davos, Klaus Schwab also told The Associated Press that the big risk now is the world moving into a cycle of deflation.

Worries about the global economy’s strength and falling oil prices have weighed down major market indexes since the start of the year. One major concern is whether the recent slump in oil prices will lead to other problems, such as deflation, a downward spiral in prices that could put companies out of business.

Schwab, a Swiss economist, said international teamwork is necessarily both to generate economic growth and combat terrorism.

“Terror cannot be combatted on a national basis; it needs international cooperation. But also economic growth can only be generated if we coordinate our actions,” he said ahead of the summit at the Swiss mountain resort, organized by the WEF.

“I hope the necessary awareness to address those issues in a coordinated and decisive way – that this attitude is nourished here,” he said.

As the first arrivals among the 2,500 people expected at Davos began to trickle in, Oxfam International said in a report that the richest 1 percent of the population will own more than half the world’s wealth by 2016. The share of global wealth among the world’s richest people rose to 48 percent last year, up from 44 percent in 2009, according to Oxfam.

Schwab said the forum warned about this trend five years ago and it remains one of the major issues before participants, who must combine job creation with corporate and social responsibility.

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