Emmanuel Macron, Angela Merkel and Paolo Gentiloni among speakers
The second day of the World Economic Forum is under way in the Swiss town of Davos, with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni delivering speeches.
Here is what you need to know about the forum today:
Tony Blair says Brexit will “diminish” Europe
Former UK prime minister Tony Blair weighed in on Brexit again today at Davos, telling Bloomberg that Britain’s departure from the European Union will damage both sides, and that “Europe will be diminished” by the process. “It will be weaker without the strength of the British economy, we’re the largest economy in Europe. And it will be politically weaker,” said Blair, who was one of the most vocal members of the Remain campaign. “It’s important to emphasise that Brexit is a problem for Britain but it’s a problem for Europe.”
US Treasury Secretary “on the offensive”
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brushed off concerns about the dollar’s decline, saying it was to the benefit of the US economy. “Obviously, a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities,” Mnuchin told reporters. “But again I think longer term the strength of the dollar is a reflection of the strength of the US economy and the fact that it is and will continue to be the primary currency in terms of the reserve currency.”
The Financial Times says Mnuchin was “on the offensive at Davos with an America First message”, while Bloomberg says he was “sharpening [his] trade war rhetoric”.
Canada’s Justin Trudeau tells leaders to tackle inequality
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his Davos speech to “challenge leaders of the world’s biggest corporations to hire more women and to tackle sexual harassment”, adding that adopting a business-as-usual approach to tackling inequality would lead to failure for everyone, reports The Guardian. Trudeau said hiring, promoting and retaining more women was the key to narrowing the “staggering” gap between rich and poor.
All eyes on Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is in Davos on his first trip abroad since he deposed ruler Robert Mugabe. Mnangagwa, the first Zimbabwean president to attend the forum, says he is there to meet world leaders and potential investors and to convince them that his country is open to the international community, News24 reports.
Modi’s dig at Trump
Delegates are still buzzing about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech on Tuesday, when he defended globalisation and urged joint action on climate change and economic cooperation. Some delegates interpretated his comments as a swipe at US President Donald Trump’s America First agenda, Reuters reports. Trump is expected at the forum tomorrow.