Growth and political risk will be hot topics at this year's World Economic Forum in Davos. As Joel Flynn reports from the Swiss Resort more than 1,500 business leaders and 40 heads of state are taking part.
A glorious welcome for the delegates at the World Economic Forum. 1500 business leaders and 40 heads of state are taking part in this year's annual shindig in the Swiss resort of Davos. Growth, or rather a lack of it, is as always top of the agenda. But this year there are a few new issues too. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER, JOEL FLYNN, SAYING: "The heads of state attending this year include the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, China's Prime Minister Li Keqiang and the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The crises there and elsewhere will be hotly debated. But so too will Thursday's announcement by the European Central Bank, which is seen as crucial to the euro zone's recovery." Phillip Roesler is the Forum's Managing Director. (SOUNDBTE) (English) WEF MANAGING DIRECTOR AND FORMER GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER, PHILIPP ROESLER, SAYING (ASKED WHETHER IMF's REDUCED GROWTH FORECAST FOR 2015 IS WORRYING): "We have to deal with the issues to foster the growth on a global level. We have to deal with the challenges we see on a geo-political level, for example in Europe, in the euro zone but as well the crisis in Ukraine. We also have to deal with with the Middle East issues, IS (Islamic State), the Middle East, terrorism in North Africa. And we have to talk about the South China Sea and the development in China as an emerging market." The U.S., a bright spot when it comes to growth, won't escape scrutiny either. (SOUNDBTE) (English) WEF MANAGING DIRECTOR AND FORMER GERMAN ECONOMY MINISTER, PHILIPP ROESLER, SAYING (ASKED WHETHER IMF's REDUCED GROWTH FORECAST FOR 2015 IS WORRYING): "We saw in the last year the robust growth, but based particularly on the low energy prices. And competitiveness is much more: it's about training, education and infrastructure and all these sessions will try to deal with all these challenges." But delegates will also be pondering a few issues closer to home - the storm over the Swiss franc in particular. It's made this forum one of the most expensive for years.