"Cooperation In A Fragmented World”, World Economic Forum 2023

The annual World Economic Forum returned to its traditional winter session for the first time since 2020. This year the theme was very comprehensible “Cooperation

in a fragmented World” as the meeting was held at a time when the whole world is facing many economic crises that haven't happened in several decades, along

with political tensions and conflicts among many of the world's countries.


The meeting discussed a number of major issues that the world faces today, such as climate change, the energy crisis, high inflation, economic growth, recession,

and the Russian-Ukrainian war, in the presence of a large number of CEOs, economists, investors, and politicians from around the world, in order to determine

solutions to the current crises and to prevent a global economic recession.


Additionally, the most crucial outcome of the conference was that a large number of CEOs and economists from around the world agreed that although a recession

may affect certain areas of the world, particularly in the first half of 2023, it will be shallow, and they were optimistic about the second half of the year. In fact, the

Director of the International Monetary Fund expected that global economic growth would witness a further slowdown during 2023 to about 2.7%, and said that the

International Fund may raise its economic forecasts for this year.


On the other hand, the Secretary-General of OPEC described their situation as " cautiously optimistic," and predicted that GDP growth would reach 2.5% in 2023. He

also predicted that global demand for oil would increase by 2.2 million barrels per day in 2023 and that China's demand for oil would increase by 510 thousand

barrels per day in 2023, despite the fact that China is the world's largest consumer of oil. Perhaps, the United States and China are still in orbit around each other,

attempting to avoid a collision on issues such as trade and semiconductor production.


Regarding future interest rates, Christine Lagarde, Head of the European Central Bank, stated that inflation rates are still very high and far from the central bank's

target of 2% and she is determined to stay the course on interest rates. In the United States, Lyle Brainard, Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve, expressed concern

that inflation rates are falling and will fall rapidly in 2023, while underlying inflationary pressures remain strong and it could affect the return of inflation rates to

near 2%.


And Finally, The World Economic Forum expects the continuation of the energy and food supply crisis during the next two years. And indicated in its Global Risks

Report for 2023 that the war between Russia and Ukraine, rising inflation, and food and energy crises due to the economic impact of lockdowns are the biggest

challenges for this year.


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