PRESIDENT THABO MBEKI TO ATTEND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM SUMMIT (28 - 31 JANUARY 2000) IN DAVOS, SWITZERLAND.
President Mbeki will attend the World Economic Forum Summit to be held between 28 and 31 January 2000 in Davos, Switzerland, where international political and business leaders will gather to discuss economic, financial and technological trends and issues of global importance. The President will leave the country on Thursday 27th January and return on Tuesday, 1st February.
The World Economic Forum summit provides unsurpassed opportunities for the political and business leaders of the country to place issues of concern to the country on the international agenda.
Within the backdrop of the very upbeat and positive economic outlook for South Africa, the WEF Summit will be used to promote the business and investment interests of South Africa.
The South African government places a lot of importance on the meeting, and will thus be well represented at the summit. The President will be accompanied by Minister of Trade and Industries, Alec Irwin, Minister of Finance, Trevor Manuel, and the Governor of the Reserve Bank, Mr Tito Mboweni who will also address the WEF.
South African participation will also be further strengthened by the participation of a substantial private sector representation from South Africa.
The president will use the opportunity provided at WEF to meet with various business leaders and investors. in the context of the African renaissance and the African Century, the President will participate with other African leaders in sessions on the need for investment in Africa.
A second area of concern to the President is the impact of Globalisation. Consequently, the President will participate in discussions examining the impact of Globalisation on developing countries and development in general.
The President will also use the opportunity to interact with and hold on-to-one meetings with prospective members of the Government's envisaged International Investment Advisory Council.
The Southern African Regional Summit of the World Economic Forum was successfully held in Durban South Africa, in July 1999.
BACKGROUND TO WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
The World Economic Forum is an independent and impartial international organisation committed to improving the state of the world. It serves its members and society by:
* Creating global partnership of business political, intellectual and other leaders of civil society, to define and discuss the key issues on the global agenda;
* Initiating processes of sharing and developing ideas, opinions and knowledge in the interests of advancing solutions to global problems to which partnerships can make a contribution;
* Facilitating the activities of members and other constituents who wish to pursue issues of particular concern to them in the spirit of entrepreneurship in the global public interest.
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Motivated by his experiences during the war and his commitment to help create a new Europe. Professor Klaus Schwab established the FEF in 1971 when he convened the first meeting of Europe's top executives in Davos, Switzerland.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
The World Economic Forum today plays an important role as a catalyst for determining the global agenda. On a permanent basis, the World Economic Forum screens the horizon for issues that need world-wide attention. The organisation helps integrate these issues into an action programme and monitors the progress made in solving problems. The World Economic Forum acts as facilitator and identifies areas where members and constituents of the forum could make a specific contribution.
A distinctive feature of the Forum is its membership by the world's 1,000 foremost global companies, which represents a total annual turnover in excess of 4,000 billion dollars. In addition, the WEF has developed strong constituency-networks of politicians across the globe which gives this, essentially business, organisation special capacities.
FINANCES OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Member companies pay an annual fee, which provided 18.76 million Swiss francs of the WEF's total income of 51.89 million Swiss francs in 1997.98. For the WEF's various activities around the world, participants pay a cost contribution. The WEF has additional income from partnership agreements with those member companies who want to contribute knowledge and financial resources in support of specific projects of the organisation. The Forum strives to achieve an annual surplus of 15% to be fully reinvested in the development of new services for its members and constituents. A small part of the surplus is added to the Foundation's capital, which in 1997/98 amounted to 6.13 million Swiss francs.
THE GOVERNING OF THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
The highest body is the Forum's Foundation Board composed of well-known personalities from both business and public life. The Foundation Board has three committees: (a) the Executive Council of the Foundation; (b) the Nomination and Remuneration Committee; and (c) the Audit Committee. The daily management is in the hands of an Executive Board and the members are associated with decision-making at the Forum through the Council of the World Economic Forum consisting of 40 CEO's from member countries.
For more information contact Parks Mankahlana at 082-5534569
Issued by the Office of the Presidency, 26 January 2000