Programme of members of the Federal Council attending the WEF Annual Meeting 2018

Bern, 18.01.2018 - Bern, 18.01.2018 – The Federal Council continues to hold the view that the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting is of great importance. Five Federal Council members will be attending the event this year; around 60 bilateral meetings are expected to take place. President Alain Berset will be holding meetings with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump. Arrangements for further meetings, such as with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are still under discussion, as are details of the meeting with President Trump.

At the invitation of President Berset, European ministers of culture will gather in Davos prior to the WEF Annual Meeting for a conference on Baukultur. The conference will address the key role played by culture on the quality of our built environment and should show ways in which high-quality Baukultur can be mainstreamed and promoted in Europe. The results will be documented in the ‘Davos Declaration', which will be adopted on Monday, 22 January, to launch the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Topics on the agenda of the working meeting with Indian Prime Minister Modi on Monday include business and trade matters, particularly the ongoing negotiations on a bilateral investment protection agreement and the envisaged free trade agreement between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and India. Federal Councillor Johann Schneider-Ammann will also be attending the talks with the Indian prime minister.

On Tuesday, 23 January, as is traditional, the Swiss president will open the WEF Annual Meeting together with Prof. Klaus Schwab. Numerous bilateral meetings have been arranged including with Argentinian President Mauricio Macri, Zimbabwe's new president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Rwandan president, Paul Kagame and the president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. The president is also set to hold talks with the following heads of government: Charles Michel (Belgium), Benjamin Netanyahu (Israel) and Saad Al Hariri (Lebanon).

On Wednesday, Mr Berset will take part in an SRF debate together with Columbian President Juan Manuel Santos on the social contract in the 21st century. On Thursday afternoon he is expected to attend an Open Forum session on ‘Democracy in a Post-Truth Era' which will address the question of how to tackle digital misinformation.

Federal Councillor Ueli Maurer, the vice president of the Federal Council and head of the Federal Department of Finance (FDF), will hold meetings with numerous counterparts and representatives from international bodies.

Federal Councillor Ignazio Cassis, the head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), will be focusing on EU relations, the situation in the Middle East and the economic opportunities of foreign policy during his time in Davos. He will therefore be meeting Johannes Hahn, the EU commissioner for European neighbourhood policy, who is responsible for relations with Switzerland. Relations with the EU will also be addressed during talks with European foreign ministers. With regard to the situation in the Middle East, Mr Cassis will attend two events with foreign ministers from the region and also hold bilateral talks with the UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, the Saudi Arabian foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, and the Jordanian foreign minister, Ayman Safadi. His meetings with the Argentinian foreign minister, Jorge Faurie, and with Angola's foreign minister, Manuel Domingos Augusto, will cover bilateral and economic issues.

Federal Councillor Johann N. Schneider-Ammann, the head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER), will focus on fostering bilateral economic relations and free trade negotiations. The head of the EAER will be meeting the Indian minister for trade and industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu and the Indonesian investment minister, Tom Lembong. Also on the agenda are meetings with Vietnam's vice prime minister, Vuong Dinh Hue, and the Argentinian minister for production, Francisco Cabrera. Bilateral economic relations will also be the focus of talks with the prime minister of Côte d'Ivoire, Amadou Gon Coulibaly, US secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta, EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström, the French minister of economy and finance, Bruno Le Maire, and ministers from further countries. Federal Councillor Schneider-Ammann will sign a declaration with Canada on cooperation in the field of science and innovation. He will also host the traditional informal WTO ministerial meeting and a business breakfast.

Federal Councillor Doris Leuthard, the head of the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), will meet with the Swedish energy minister, Ibrahim Baylan, and the Argentinian energy minister, Juan José Aranguren, as well as Dominique Anglade, the vice premier of Québec. The talks will mainly focus on aspects of energy and climate policy as well as infrastructure. Further meetings are being planned. Federal Councillor Leuthard will also attend sessions and events on energy, digitalisation and innovation - and launch an ETH mobility initiative.

The WEF Annual Meeting in Davos also provides numerous opportunities for further contacts and discussions; last-minute changes to the programme are therefore possible. The details listed above are therefore subject to change.

Address for enquiries

André Simonazzi
Federal Council Spokesperson
058 462 37 03


The Federal Council