World Economic Forum warns of impact of global tensions

World Economic Forum warns of impact of global tensions

It also revealed that in 2019, rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions are "the most urgent risk", as 90 percent of experts predicting further economic confrontation between major powers in 2019.

One area identified as being affected by the more fractured geopolitical environment is the need to modernize critical infrastructure projects around the world, such as roads, bridges and power networks, firstly and foremost to avoid accidents such as the collapse of a bridge in Genoa, Italy, last summer that killed 43 people. "What we need now is coordinated, concerted action to sustain growth and to tackle the grave threats facing our world today", said Borge Brende, President of the WEF.

The goal of the meeting is to identify new models for peace, inclusiveness, and sustainability to suit a world where further global integration is inevitable and where existing models of global governance struggle to foster concerted action among the world's powers.

The vast majority of senior decision makers across the globe expect data theft and cyber-disruption to increase in 2019, according to the latest report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The organizers of the forum said worldwide tensions and nationalist politics could further weigh on the global economy this year and hinder efforts to deal with big issues such as climate change.

Britain's upcoming exit from the European Union will be another key issue after British lawmakers overwhelmingly rejected the Brexit deal Prime Minister Theresa May had negotiated with the EU.

Jobs and long-term investments in Britain are at risk until some way out is found from the impasse, said John Drzik, president of global risk and digital at United States professional services company Marsh. The report gets much more concrete when the focus shifts to the consequences of climate change.

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Environmental risks also pose problems for urban infrastructure and its development.

The WEF report showed mounting alarm about the risks of extreme weather and a failure to take mitigating action as temperatures rise, detailing the possibility of many low-lying cities in Asia, Europe and North America being wiped off the map by flooding.

She suggested that businesses can find opportunities in these risks, as the world needs to develop new technologies related to carbon capture systems, energy distribution systems, and battery technology.

"It is no surprise that in 2019, environmental concerns once again dominate the list of major concerns".

"We now appear to be sleepwalking into a climate catastrophe", warned Alison Martin, the chief risk officer at Zurich Insurance Group (ZURN.VX), which partnered with WEF to publish this report. "So, too, does the growing likelihood of environmental policy failure or a lack of timely policy implementation", she continued.

Trump, who attended last year's talks in Davos, plans to send Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the talks that begin January 22 as he grapples with Democrats over a partial government shutdown.

All those taking part in the Davos meeting need to summon the imagination and commitment necessary to tackle the instability, said Schwab, who is also WEF executive chairman.

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