Davos (Switzerland): The world’s foremost gathering of business and government leaders wrapped up a five-day meeting Sunday with widespread agreement that a fragile recovery is under way but no consensus on what’s going to spur job growth and prevent another global economic meltdown.
In a group of big egos and many power players attending the annual World Economic Forum, there was even some humility and a realization that overcoming the first global financial crisis is uncharted territory.
The gathering of some 2,500 VIPs saw much spirited debate on whether more regulation is needed for the financial industry, how to boost sagging global unemployment, and finding ways to ensure the nascent recovery is kept on course through 2010.
Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann told an AP-sponsored closing panel that the worst of the financial and economic crisis had been managed “quite successfully” but decision-makers now had a tough choice: “Should we take more risk, be a creative force for growth, or should we focus on security?”
Peter Sands, the CEO of Britain’s Standard Chartered Bank, said at the panel that the right balance must be struck “between making a safer banking system and a financial system that can support the sort of dynamism and growth in job creation.”
Klaus Schwab, the forum’s founder, ended the meeting with a call to the business and government leaders to reflect “on values” and social responsibility.
With China and India spurring the global economy, Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd, India, a global communications company, predicted that the difference between growth rates between the developing and developed worlds “are increasingly going to become larger.”
The result, he told the AP-sponsored panel, is that richer countries will “more aggressively” invest in emerging markets in order to maintain their own growth, which will be “good for the emerging world.”