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  • » 01/31/2011, 00.00

    ASIA

    World Economic Forum closes in Davos with nothing new



    Business and political leaders celebrate the rise of China and India, but discussions reflect old issues. Others note how world economic leaders failed to see social unrest in the Arab world.

    Hong Kong (AsiaNews/Agencies) – The economies of emerging nations, dubbed BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China), will lead the world economic recovery, this according to observers at the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland). Other analysts point instead to what is going on in Egypt, Tunisia and other Arab nations, to say that much has not factored in the forecast.

    The more than 2,500 business and political leaders who met on 26-29 January appear optimistic about developments in the world economy. China grew 10 per cent last year, India 8.5 per cent, and even the United States saw a 3 per cent rise in GDP.

    The International Monetary Fund estimates that emerging markets might expand 6.5 per cent in 2011, more than double the 2.5 per cent for developed nations.

    After pats in the back for a job well-done, developing economies now want to change the balance of economic power.

    World experts discussed and criticised the economic and monetary policies of great powers according to established scenarios.

    As expected, China came in for a lashing over its exchange rate policy that ostensibly keeps the yuan artificially low as a way to boost its exports. Similarly, the United States was criticised for the excess liquidity it has injected into the economy to maintain domestic standards of living at the cost of higher world inflation. The European Union was criticised for its weak euro and its incapacity to solve the internal problems of some of its member states.

    Some analysts critiqued discussions at Davos for not always reflecting reality. For example, participants in past editions failed to see 2008 crisis coming, or the current unrest in the Arab world.

    Egypt’s current instability was an important topic at the forum as many wondered what its impact would be on the Suez Canal, through which most of Europe’s oil moves, and the price of oil.

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