World must focus on long-term structural changes - WEF

26 January 2011 17:09  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The co-chairs at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2011 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, announced on Wednesday that the international community would need to focus more on long-term structural changes in order to withstand more volatile business conditions as the global economy begins its recovery.

With the world becoming a dual-speed economy, as emerging markets grow faster than developed countries, greater collaboration would be needed among all stakeholders in order to successfully manage future businesses and country policies, the co-chairs added.

“Many things separate us but we have to unite as global citizens to address issues that are important not only for now but for generations to come,” said co-chair Yorihiko Kojima, chairman of the board of Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan.

Co-chair Ellen Kullman, chair of the board and CEO of DuPont, said: "We are going to need to work together across national boundaries to get the right answers [to global challenges]."

Speaking ahead of the WEF's annual meeting, Kullman said that with the population of the world expected to surpass 7bn people this year, one of the most important responses would be to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by developing and introducing a broad range of conservation and alternative energy technologies.

Ellen Kullman, DuPont chair & CEO and co-chair of the World Economic Forum (WEF) speaking ahead of the WEF's Annual Meeting 2011 in Davos, Switzerland. Video provided by the WEF.

Business organisations would have to identify what behaviours would be able to facilitate rapid and accurate responses to changing conditions, Kullman added.

“By pursuing profitable growth in sustainable ways we are determined to deliver the innovation necessary to address some of the world’s biggest problems,” she said.

Meanwhile, in a panel debate hosted by Time magazine, which included Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at New York University; Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP; and Min Zhu, special adviser to the International Monetary Fund, it was concluded that the "new normal" for the global economy looked bleak.

The panel predicted that growth in the most advanced economies would remain below trend, with outright contraction in parts, while prospects would be hindered by a lack of international cooperation on key issues and an inability by the US to tackle its budget deficit.

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By: Franco Capaldo
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