January 23, 2020 / 9:14 AM / a month ago

Mnuchin goads Greta, Saudis in spotlight and Merkel - what to expect at Davos on Thursday

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Here’s what to watch for at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting on Thursday:

FILE PHOTO: Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg and Swiss activist Loukina Tille attend a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo


Greta Thunberg is expected to keep a relatively low profile on Thursday, after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a new dig at the young climate activist.

Thunberg, who Mnuchin said should get an economics degree before making calls about fossil fuel divestment, is due to take part in a climate strike on Friday.


Europe’s now elder stateswoman Angela Merkel speaks at 1315 GMT, while her favored successor Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, is speaking to media leaders.


Several prominent Saudi ministers will be on a panel on strategic priorities for the G20 in 2020 at 1000 GMT. The Saudis, who have the presidency of the group this year, have been in the spotlight at Davos after a UN investigation alleged that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had hacked the phone of Amazon boss Jeff Bezos, something the Saudis deny.


Britain’s relatively low key representation continues with British Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid due to speak at CBI/HSBC lunch and Brexit rears its head in a panel on “Renewing Europe’s Growth” after Britain leaves the EU with Deutsche Bank CEO, Deutsche Post CEO, European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni and Italian finance minister Roberto Gualtieri at 0915 GMT.


Latin America has been pretty much off the radar so far at Davos but the appearance of Venezuela’s Juan Guaido will remind business leaders of the challenges facing some of the region’s democracies from 0830 GMT.


Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is interviewed by WEF boss Klaus Schwab at 0930 GMT


ECB President Christine Lagarde will be attending a dinner at 1900 GMT on Uniting Europe. Lagarde’s showpiece speech won’t be until Friday.


United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres will also be making his main address of the event at 1700 GMT, with calls from Pakistan’s Imran Khan for the UN to intervene in the stand-off with India one of many items in his in-box.

Editing by Leela de Kretser

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