Xi, Macron and Modi to speak at virtual Davos forum, says WEF

Chinese President Xi Jinping, French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be among the speakers at the World Economic Forum's online event. PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

GENEVA (BLOOMBERG) - The World Economic Forum said Chinese President Xi Jinping and his French counterpart, Mr Emmanuel Macron, will be among the speakers at the online event it is holding this month instead of its usual forum in the Swiss ski resort of Davos.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and World Health Organisation director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus have also been invited, due to be held from Jan 25 to Jan 29.

The chief executives of more than 500 companies are also joining in the discussion of topics, including fair economic and social systems and the climate crisis, the Geneva-based organisation said.

Economic growth needs to be "more resilient, more inclusive and more sustainable", founder Klaus Schwab said at an online briefing on Monday (Jan 18).

The WEF's annual meeting, typically held each January in the mountain resort, features world leaders, central bankers, corporate executives as well as celebrities and billionaires. The in-person event has been postponed due to the pandemic and is now scheduled to take place in Singapore in May.

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