With trade wars threatening to dent global growth, the theme of this year’s meeting is “Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.”
“America first doesn’t mean America alone,” U.S. President Donald Trump declared at Davos 2018. But his words were not followed by action – throughout 2018 he escalated a trade war with China over what he alleged were its unfair trading practices, boasting on Twitter that trade wars are “good” and “easy to win.”
Chinese business tycoon Jack Ma warned that a trade war could have the same implications as a physical war. “It’s so easy to launch a trade war, but it’s so difficult to stop the disaster of this war,” Ma said at Davos. “When you sanction the other country, you sanction small businesses, young people, and they will be killed, just like when you bomb somewhere. If trade stops, war starts.”
The spotlight also turned on big technology firms at Davos 2018, with billionaire investor George Soros opining that tech giants such as Facebook and Google had become “obstacles to innovation”. In July, Google was fined a record $5bn by the EU for breaking competition rules.
Apple and Amazon are likely to face increased scrutiny at this year’s meeting after becoming the first public companies to soar to valuations of $1 trillion.
Although the tech sector generates vast fortunes and a substantial number of jobs, critical questions remain over the impact companies with such staggering valuations could have on competition in the broader marketplace.
#22858 Updated: 12/16/2018 DUPLICATE