Catch up on the latest highlights and insights from the 2019 World Economic Forum.

Day 1: World Economic Forum

Exactly 226 years after the decapitation of King Louis XVI, who failed to quell popular discontent over a France’s feudal society, President Emmanuel Macron started his speech at a pre-Davos dinner at Versailles by invoking the king and his wife Marie-Antoinette. Macron, speaking to an audience that included J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Snapchat chief Evan Spiegel and Microsoft boss Satya Nadella, said he would not follow the path of guillotined French royals and would continue to reform the French economy despite occasional violent revolt.

Many companies say they are stepping up action on climate change since almost 200 governments struck the 2015 Paris climate agreement to phase out greenhouse gas emissions this century by shifting from fossil fuels.

In its second downgrade in three months, the IMF cut its world economic growth forecasts for 2019 and 2020 due to weakness in Europe and some emerging markets. The new forecast was released on the eve Davos’ first day, providing a nudge to policymakers to come up with plans to combat the slowdown. Tune in to the official morning show of Davos at 7:30 a.m. CET with Reuters host Axel Threlfall.

A PwC survey of nearly 1,400 CEOs found 29 percent believe global economic growth will decline over the next 12 months. That’s six times as many who felt that way last year and the highest percentage since 2012.


President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani backtracked from earlier comments that Trump pursued a business deal throughout 2016 to build a tower bearing his name in Moscow, saying his statements “were hypothetical and not based on conversations I had with the President.” Attentions are turning to 2020 race for the White House as Senator Kamala Harris of California, who is a rising star in the party and an outspoken critic of Trump, became the latest Democrat launch a presidential campaign.

With little time left until Britain is due to leave the European Union, embattled UK Prime Minister Theresa May sought to break the Brexit impasse in parliament by proposing to seek further concessions from the EU on a plan to prevent customs checks on the Irish border. Britain’s statistics agency also sought to settle another Brexit debate by declaring that was no evidence Brexit was to blame for so-called “shrinkflation” - the shrinking of product sizes in the UK. “There was no trend in the frequency of size changes over this period, which included the EU referendum,” the agency concluded.

Eighteen years ago, at the height of the Taliban’s power in Afghanistan, Roshan Mashal secretly taught her daughters and a dozen local girls to read and write. But while Mashal’s daughters have since gained university degrees in economics and medicine, she now fears the hardline Islamist group could once again become part of the government. As talks to end Afghanistan’s war pick up momentum, women such as Mashal fear the freedoms etched out since U.S.-backed Afghan forces overthrew the Taliban in 2001 are about to slide backwards.


Tesla said it had received quotes from Tianjin Lishen to supply batteries for its new Shanghai electric car factory but had not signed any agreement with the Chinese firm.

Ever wanted to run your electric car for free? With millions of electric cars expected on European roads over the next decade, utilities see an opportunity to sell drivers more electricity, and at the same time, offset the risk of unstable power grids stressed by the new demand. That’s why E.ON and EDF are already working with Nissan to develop services that allow power stored in electric vehicle batteries to be sold back to the grid - and now they’re trying to persuade European carmakers to follow suit.

China’s broadcasting regulator approved the release of a third batch of video games after a freeze for most of last year, with industry-leader Tencent still absent from the list of new titles. Home to the world’s largest video game market, China’s 620 million players spent $37.9 billion last year mostly on mobile and PC games, according to data from gaming market researcher Newzoo.

Reuters TV